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Man ordered to serve 5 years in prison, pay $28,000 for burglaries

June 26, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A Washington County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday sentenced a Hagerstown man to five years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $28,000 in restitution in connection with a series of daytime burglaries.

Christopher Lee Hays, 28, of 16815 Alcott Road pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree burglary. Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced him to two concurrent sentences of 15 years with 10 years suspended.

In addition, Long ordered that restitution be paid to three victims in Washington County and their insurers for almost $28,500. Hays will also be on supervised probation for five years after his release.

In exchange for the plea agreement, the prosecution dismissed more than a dozen other related charges against Hays, Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack said.

Jewelry, firearms and electronics were stolen in the daytime residential burglaries, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. In some, bedrooms were ransacked and pillowcases used to take property, the charging documents said.

Jewelry stolen from a Shinham Road home on Jan. 5 matched jewelry sold at a Hagerstown pawn shop the next day, the  documents said.

The person who allegedly sold the items was identified as Joshua Ray Mullendore, 25, of Frederick, according to the documents.

Hays was also identified as having sold jewelry to the pawn shop on Jan. 6 that matched jewelry stolen in a Frederick County burglary, the documents said.

Hays and Mullendore were taken into custody on Jan. 9 as they were driving in Hays’ car, the documents said.

A search of Hays’ home turned up $14,700 in savings bonds stolen Dec. 16, 2011, from a home near Greencastle, Pa., and a tool set from the Frederick County burglary, the documents said.

Hays’ vehicle was searched, and investigators found collectible coins, computer games, ski masks, gloves, a pry bar and “other tools consistent with those who commit burglaries,” the documents said.

Investigators also linked Hays and Mullendore to a Dec. 9, 2011, burglary on Woodland Heights Drive, Hagerstown, and another on Durberry Road in Smithsburg on Jan. 3, the documents said.

In both those burglaries witnesses reported seeing a car resembling Hays’ silver Subaru Legacy, the documents said.

McCormack said Hays still faces pending charges in Frederick County, but he was not aware if Pennsylvania authorities were pursuing a case against him.

Mullendore is scheduled to be sentenced in July on a first-degree burglary charge, but faces other burglary-related charges in a hearing set for August, court records said.

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