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Judge finds probable cause in case against city man accused in break-in

October 23, 2007

A Washington County District Court judge found probable cause Tuesday to forward to Washington County Circuit Court the case of a Hagerstown man accused of breaking into a house in September and stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, according to court documents.

Michael Wayne Rippeon Jr., 24, of 604 W. Church St., is charged with first-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and theft of more than $500 in value. First-degree burglary carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

A Smithsburg woman reported jewelry stolen from her house in the 21900 block of Jefferson Boulevard on Sept. 5, according to charging documents. A window, valued at $100, was broken, police said.

Police recovered some of the jewelry from Washington Street Pawnbrokers in Hagerstown and traced it to Rippeon, according to documents. More jewelry was found at the house where Rippeon was staying, and the victim was able to give an exact description of the items, police said.

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A total of $4,500 worth of jewelry was recovered, police said.

- Heather Keels

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