ATKINSON – A former Salem teacher who had stolen a school district camera was arrested for theft again on Monday and may face more charges in two other towns, police said this morning.
Stephen Pierce, 46, was charged on Monday by Atkinson police with two misdemeanor counts of theft by unauthorized taking.
Pierce allegedly took two watches from a family friend's home in Atkinson, including one worth about $675, and pawned them for cash, according to Atkinson police Det. Nicolas Fiset.
The homeowners reported the theft to police on June 9 after they noticed the watches were missing. The couple had also noticed that Pierce had recently pleaded guilty to unrelated theft case in Salem on June 4.
“He was a family friend of theirs, and if they weren't around he took care of things,” around their house, Fiset said.
Police said the latest case could bring added charges in Plaistow and Salem, the towns where Pierce may have pawned the stolen items.
Salem police Lt. Ron Peddle said Pierce was arrested at his Salem home on Monday on the warrant for the Atkinson theft.
Before Pierce was transported to the Atkinson police station, he “made statement indicating his involvement with the theft of jewelry in Atkinson and pawning the jewelry in Salem,” Peddle said.
Salem police are in the process of securing arrest warrants for Pierce to charge him with theft by unauthorized taking or receiving stolen property.
Fiset said Plaistow could bring similar charges.
Pierce received a suspended seven-day county jail sentence on June 4 after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property. He initially faced felony charges in that case.
School officials said Pierce had stolen a Nikon D60 worth about $679 from the Woodbury School, where he worked as an 8th grade teacher. The camera was used for a yearbook program.
The new charges could prompt Salem prosecutors to seek jail time for Pierce on his initial conviction. A judge would have to impose the suspended sentence.
Pierce's latest arrest marks the latest episode of a Salem employee or official facing criminal charges.
A jury is now deliberating in the trial of an ex-planning board member accused of kidnapping and sexual assault. And the former Zoning Board chairman was indicted last week on felony drug charges.
WHAT'S NEXT: Pierce is scheduled to be arraigned on the Atkinson charges on Aug. 6 in 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow.