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8th-grade teacher admits stealing camera
SALEM — An eighth-grade teacher pleaded guilty to stealing a Nikon camera used for a yearbook program as part of a negotiated deal that will keep him out of jail if he remains on good behavior.
Stephen Pierce, 46, entered a guilty plea to receiving stolen property in 10th Circuit Court in Salem on Monday, the same day he was scheduled to be arraigned on felony charges linked to his case.
Pierce was given a seven-day suspended jail sentence that can be imposed if he is arrested again within the next year, court documents indicate.
In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop five other charges that included theft by unauthorized taking and receiving stolen property involving the Nikon D60 from the Woodbury School.
Pierce resigned from his teaching position at the school in April, and was placed on administrative leave in the wake of his arrest last month.
Police began investigating the camera theft on April 6.
A sixth-grade teacher at Woodbury School in charge of the yearbook program reported to police that the camera, valued at $679, was taken from his classroom, according to police and school officials.
School Resource Officer Robert Genest asked an administrative assistant at the police department to review local pawn slips to see if the camera turned up nearby, police said.
The assistant found a slip on April 20 that matched the stolen camera.
Genest confirmed the stolen camera was sold by Pierce, who had to provide his driver's license to the pawn shop in order to sell the camera.
Photocopied licenses and corresponding pawn slips are regularly shared with police, and used to resolve a number of theft cases locally.
The camera was pawned for $150, police said.
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