A woman who apparently sneaked into a downtown Medford tattoo parlor, trashed the business and flushed checks and cash down the toilet will spend time in jail.

A woman who apparently sneaked into a downtown Medford tattoo parlor, trashed the business and flushed checks and cash down the toilet will spend time in jail.

Mary Lynn Amo, 53, who has no permanent address, pleaded no contest in Jackson County Circuit Court last week to a single charge of second-degree theft. Charges of first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree burglary were dropped, court records show.

Amo was arrested Feb. 15 and held in the Jackson County Jail on $25,000 bail before being sentenced by Judge Ron Grensky to 36 days in jail and 11 months probation for the theft charge. Attorney fees amounting to $270 were subsequently waived.

The case began when Medford police responded to a phone call that a confused woman was behaving oddly inside Phat Kat Tattoo and Piercing, at 44 S. Central Ave. Police found the business was closed and locked, and the woman refused to come out or let them in.

Police dispatchers called the business owner, who came to the building to unlock the door. Inside, officers found a toilet clogged with business paperwork, damaged drywall and ceiling tiles. A cash drawer that the owner said held about $5,000 in cash and checks had been emptied. When officers tried to take Amo into custody, she resisted and had to be restrained.

Whitney Kammers, who works at the front counter at Phat Kat, said that Amo, who appeared to be homeless, had asked to use the rest room at Phat Kat the previous evening. She was allowed to use the facilities and then left the building, but loitered outside.

The shop is open from noon to 8 p.m., but employees often work into the night to complete a tattoo, Kammers said. Kammers said she locked the front door, but left the back door unlocked until everyone left, at about 11 p.m., when all doors were locked.

Police suspect that Amo sneaked back into the building and hid in the bathroom while a tattoo artist worked. At the time of the arrest, Amo had nearly $400 in cash. An unknown amount of money and paperwork was gone, either hidden inside the shop or flushed away, police said.

A plumber had to be called to open the toilet, and employees had to clean and sanitize the entire shop, which was closed for four hours while they cleaned, Kammers said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.