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Hillsdale man pleads guilty to theft charges

An addiction to drugs can find men and women in legal hot water, and not just on drug charges. If addicts do not receive treatment that they so desperately need, they could be driven to commit other crimes in order to meet the demands of their habit.

This is the reason one man cited after he was hit with theft charges in Hillsdale, Michigan. The man was accused of larceny from both a building and an automobile. He pleaded guilty to the offenses and will be sentenced in March. He faces up to five years behind bars.

The thefts took place at -- of all places -- the Hillsdale County courthouse. The man was at the courthouse with his girlfriend, who was asked to appear. While there, he wandered around until he spotted some coats. He searched the contents of a couple of those coats and took a set of keys. He also made away with a coat and a hat. Both articles of clothing belonged to prosecutors that worked at the courthouse.

He used the keys to gain access to a vehicle out in the parking lot. He stole a GPS system and iPod from the vehicle, which belonged to a public defender. He fled with the items and tossed the car keys aside, according to reports.

However, security cameras in the courthouse caught the man's actions on tape. Due to his prior criminal activity, law enforcement was able to identify him immediately.

The man admitted that he was aiming to sell the stolen goods for drug money. Authorities got to him before he was able to sell them.

The man has two prior arrests for theft-related offenses.

While the man faces years in prison, it might be in a judge's best interest to assign the defendant to drug treatment, since his propensity for theft is directly tied to his drug habit. Throwing him behind bars for five years may do little to fix the man's ailments.

Source: Hillsdale.net, "Man who stole from courthouse faces five years in prison," Matt Durr, Jan. 29, 2013

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