BEVERLY — A Lynn man admitted yesterday to taking advantage of a Beverly company’s open house last winter, helping himself to more than $7,200 worth of power tools and equipment — and an employee’s car.
Derek White was caught, nearly a month later, after allegedly abandoning another stolen car in Wakefield.
White, 38, who pleaded guilty to larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering and larceny, is set to receive an 18-month jail term, with a year to be served and the balance suspended for two years, when he is formally sentenced next month.
On the evening of Jan. 22, the owners of Salem Plumbing Supply and Designer Bath were holding an event at the showroom with about 70 guests, prosecutor Patrick Collins told a judge yesterday.
At the end of the night, one employee went to get the keys to his Nissan, only to realize that they, and his car, were missing.
Surveillance video from the business showed a man walking around in areas of the business that were not open that evening. The man was caught on film removing two costly pieces of equipment and other tools, as well as walking near the desk where the employee kept his keys.
On Feb. 17, Wakefield police noticed a driver who appeared to be circling an area near Route 128. When they tried to investigate, the driver, later identified as White from the EBT and MassHealth cards he was carrying, fled. He was found, after a search that involved a police dog, hiding in a garage, according to a Wakefield police report. The car he had abandoned was stolen from a Honey Dew Donuts shop while the owner was grabbing a cup of coffee a day earlier. He’s also facing a charge of receiving stolen property in Malden District Court.
White was carrying the keys to the Nissan that had been stolen in January. The key ring still had a Walgreen’s courtesy card attached to it, and police used that to confirm that the keys belonged to the Salem Plumbing employee, according to a police report.
White also admitted yesterday to breaking into the clubhouse at the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club on Jan. 13. Nothing was taken in that break, which may have been due to an alarm sounding at the time.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.