Two sen­tenced in theft scheme at Pre­mium Out­lets

Record Observer - - NEWS - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­

CENTREVILLE — Two peo­ple were sen­tenced Aug. 22 in Queen Anne’s County Cir­cuit Court for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in a Novem­ber theft scheme at Queen­stown Pre­mium Out­lets.

Thomas Ed­ward John­son Jr., 28, re­cently from Cam­bridge, but a Gra­sonville na­tive, was sen­tenced to 11 years and 6 months to serve to the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tion of Mary­land for his con­vic­tions for a theft and con­spir­acy to com­mit theft less than $1,000, along with two sep­a­rate vi­o­la­tions of pro­ba­tion from pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

John­son was tried in be­fore Cir­cuit Court Judge Thomas G. Ross. The case was pros­e­cuted by Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance G. Richard­son. As­sis­tant Pub­lic De­fender Michael Fricker rep­re­sented John­son.

John­son’s lat­est con­vic­tions were based upon a theft per­pe­trated at the Mer­rell Cloth­ing Out­let at the Prime Out­lets in Queen­stown, Richard­son said.

John­son con­spired with a Mer­rell em­ployee, Stephanie Tread­well of Stevensville, who steal­ing from her em­ployer, he said. Tread­well al­lowed John­son to en­ter the store af­ter hours and then she locked the store door to pre­vent any­one from en­ter­ing, al­low­ing John­son to roam the store and ul­ti­mately steal six large bags of cloth­ing and shoes.

Tread­well had pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty to her role in the felony theft scheme and she tes­ti­fied at John­son’s trial that she al­lowed John­son into the store and told him to take what­ever he wanted and that she would “take care of it,” Richard­son said.

A fel­low em­ployee of Tread­well’s sus­pected the thefts and she used her cell phone from a dis­creet park­ing space to video­tape Tread­well and John­son steal­ing from the store af­ter hours and load­ing the stolen goods into her ve­hi­cle.

Tread­well’s sen­tenc­ing took place ear­lier in the day.

Ross or­dered Tread­well to cover all of the resti­tu­tion to the Mer­rell Store, which to­taled $4,069.85.

The judge stated in court, “Ms. Tread­well, you said you would take care of it, and that’s ex­actly what you are go­ing to do.”

Tread­well was sen­tenced to 30 months lo­cal in­car­cer­a­tion with all sus­pended but 60 days, fol­lowed by 30 months of su­per­vised pro­ba­tion upon her re­lease.

Richard­son thanked Trooper Cameron Dur­cho of the Mary­land State Po­lice for his in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He praised Kel­lie Jewell for her ef­forts in thwart­ing the theft by video­tap­ing Tread­well’s crime and tes­ti­fy­ing against Thomas John­son for the state in the trial.

“She did what a good cit­i­zen does, and she ex­hib­ited ex­cep­tional char­ac­ter and hon­esty through­out this process. She is an em­ployee that any busi­ness would be for­tu­nate to have,” Richard­son said.

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