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Hagerstown couple faces theft charges

October 13, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

A Hagerstown couple was charged with theft Wednesday after police received a tip that the pair was stealing from local stores and pawning the items, according to court documents.

Mark Dwayne Rice, 38, and Sandra Lee Rice, 46, both of 428 Park Place in Hagerstown, each were charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, Washington County District Court documents state. A man and woman told officers that the Rices stole merchandise from Target, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Sears and other stores, then sold the items to local pawnshops, documents state.

Officers checked several pawnshops and found that the Rices had a lengthy pawn history that began in 2002, documents state. Officers told local pawnshop owners to contact police if Mark Rice or Sandra Rice tried to pawn or sell any merchandise that appeared to be new, documents state.

On Tuesday, an employee at Famous Pawn said a man, accompanied by another woman and the Rices, was trying to sell 10 new PlayStation games and two DVDs - worth about $300, documents state.

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Officers said Mark Rice was pacing in front of the shop. He and Sandra Rice later left the area together in a vehicle, and the man and the woman got into a separate vehicle, documents state. Police stopped the second vehicle at Howell and Mount Aetna roads.

During police interviews, the man and woman said Mark and Sandra Rice were stealing on an almost daily basis, documents allege. The items they tried to sell to Famous Pawn were stolen from Circuit City at 17766 Garland Groh Blvd. in Hagerstown earlier the same day, documents state. The woman was with the Rices when they stole the items, documents state.

The woman said she held the Rices' baby while the couple concealed stolen items in a baby stroller, documents state.

An officer went to Circuit City, where a store manager said each day he has noticed that many PlayStation games were missing, documents state. Mark and Sandra Rice are seen on surveillance videos placing games in the stroller, documents allege.

The couple had posted bond by Wednesday night, according to a spokesman at the Washington County Detention Center.

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