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Man sentenced to prison for electronics theft

November 27, 2001

Man sentenced to prison for electronics theft



By STACEY DANZUSO
chbbureau@innernet.net


A Chambersburg, Pa., man involved in the theft of thousands of dollars of electronics and audio equipment from several stores and vehicles earlier this year will serve at least one year in state prison.

Peter Franklin already pleaded guilty in Franklin County Court to one count of theft and two counts of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to one to 12 years in jail on Wednesday.

Franklin, 26, and codefendant Joshua L. Leininger, 19, took part in a crime spree that included breaking into cars and stores across Franklin County.

Defense attorney Greg Abeln asked for local time for his client, saying he has cooperated fully in the investigation and testified against Leininger.

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"Peter has always been willing to take his licks for this. He has three children to support," Abeln said. "He apologized and we would like to see him get a local sentence."

Judge Carol Van Horn disagreed, saying Franklin had already been given enough chances.

"This was not your first time. You've had several lapses of judgment," she said to Franklin, adding that he was already under local supervision for earlier charges when he committed the crimes. "Because these crimes are serious and you have a prior record, we have exhausted our local resources."

Franklin was sentenced to pay a $200 fine and serve at least eight and up to 60 months at state prison on one count of theft. He was ordered to pay nearly $7,000 restitution to the victims and their insurance companies.

On the first count of receiving stolen property, Van Horn sentenced Franklin to pay a $200 fine and serve eight to 60 months in state prison. That sentence is to run concurrent with the first sentence.

On the second count of receiving stolen property, he was sentenced to pay a $200 fine and serve four to 60 months in state prison at the expiration of the first sentence. He also was ordered to pay more than $8,000 in restitution.

Franklin, of 5407 Greenvillage Road, stole or received property taken in a series of thefts in January and February, including:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The theft of a car stereo and about $5,000 worth of compact discs between Jan. 22 and 23 from a car parked at Jammin Car Audio, Guilford Township, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The theft of $1,116 of audio equipment from Jammin Car Audio on Feb. 2, the affidavit said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The Feb. 7 burglary of Blazin Auto, Antrim Township, where $12,410 worth of car audio equipment was stolen, according to the affidavit.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The theft of a purse from a car parked at Chambersburg Hospital on Feb. 14. According to the affidavit, Franklin and Leininger used credit cards found in the purse to buy nearly $1,500 of computer equipment from the Hagerstown Wal-Mart.

Franklin became a suspect in late February after a friend of the owner of Blazin Auto bought an amplifier from Franklin that had the same serial number as one stolen from the store, the affidavit said.

Franklin told police he bought the property from Leininger and was aware the items were probably stolen, according to the affidavit.

Leininger was sentenced last month in Franklin County Court for one count of burglary, four counts of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal trespass.

Van Horn ordered him to serve at least 20 months and up to 27 years in state prison.

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