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Man sentenced in theft case

May 27, 1998

A Hagerstown man who admitted stealing guns to buy drugs was sentenced to 18 months in jail Tuesday by Washington County Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone.

Jethro C. Buchanan, 33, has been in jail since last September when he was charged with first-degree burglary in connection with the July 1, 1997, thefts of 17 Colt collector's handguns valued at $11,000.

Buchanan was identified as a maintenance man who had keys to apartments on Kenley Avenue and who broke into those apartments to find guns to sell to support his crack habit.

"Several handguns were taken and distributed to the community," Boone said.

Boone levied and then suspended a 15-year prison sentence and ordered Buchanan to attend the Jail Substance Abuse Program while he is in the local jail.

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Full restitution of $448 for the unrecovered articles was ordered.

A month after the thefts were discovered, Hagerstown City Police received information that a maintenance worker was responsible.

In mid-September, Buchanan went to police headquarters and told officers he was addicted to crack. He said he stole to support his habit, using his key to enter apartments.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum described the incident as a severe breach of trust.

Buchanan told Boone he was sorry for what he did and wanted to get help.

- Marlo Barnhart

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