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Niece charged with forging aunt's checks

A 21-year-old Brooksville woman who has been in the Hernando County Jail since February now faces charges of grand theft and forgery after she told detectives that she stole more than $3,000 from a relative.

According to jail affidavits, Jessica Jeanine Harp of 206 Oakwood Drive in Brooksville said she stole and cashed nine checks from October to December that belonged to her great-aunt, Eustis resident Mildred Stevens, 85.

Stevens said she contacted police in Eustis after she noticed money from her checking account was missing. An investigation led police to Harp, in the county jail since Feb. 18 on drug possession charges.

Harp now faces nine counts of forgery, nine counts of uttering, eight counts of grand theft and one count of petty theft. Bail was set at $52,500.