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Burglar pleads guilty

August 29, 2000

Burglar pleads guilty



A history of mental health issues led to the postponement of sentencing Tuesday for a Hagerstown man accused in a series of burglaries earlier this year.

Thomas Edward Collins pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree burglary in Washington County Circuit Court.

Conviction on a third-degree burglary charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Duane Gigeous stressed that the prosecution would seek restitution on all counts, not just the two to which Collins entered guilty pleas.

Defense attorney Mary Riley said Collins, 23, spent eight years at Cedar Ridge Children's Home and was associated with The Turning Point.

When he needed money because of a baby on the way, Collins went on a crime spree, Riley said.

The two counts included a Jan. 4 burglary of a home in the 500 block of Liberty Street from which Collins took Nintendo games and movie videos after getting in through an unlocked basement door.

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Gigeous told Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone that Collins took the family's van, drove it to a service station, filled it with gas and returned it.

Most of the property in that incident was recovered.

In the other burglary, Collins entered a home in the 900 block of The Terrace on Jan. 6 and took $250 from a purse. He got into that house by removing a window screen and opening an unlocked window.

Collins, who had no prior criminal record, has been in jail since January.

Boone set an Oct. 3 sentencing date, and ordered Collins to remain in the Washington County Detention Center until then.

- Marlo Barnhart

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