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Russellville man gets probation for House of Bargains theft

Russellville man gets probation for House of Bargains theft

March 20th, 2019 by News Tribune in Local News

A Russellville man has been placed on five years of supervised probation for stealing from a business in Cole County.

Lee Spencer, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of felony stealing during a hearing before Cole County Judge Jon Beetem. As part of his probation, Beetem also ordered Spencer to pay $2,418 in restitution and to complete a drug treatment program within a year.

Spencer and an unconfirmed individual walked Oct. 16, 2018 to the House of Bargains in Apache Flats and waited until a fence was cut at the business so items could be pushed out and stolen, according to a Cole County Sheriff's Department probable cause statement.

Items taken included a push mower, a lawn dethatcher, a lawn edger and two trenchers. Staff estimated the value of the items at about $8,000.

Deputies later arrested Spencer after finding him riding in a vehicle with the lawn edger in the back.

During an interview with authorities, Spencer admitted to taking part in the thefts and showed detectives to a friend's home, where the push mower and dethatcher were recovered. Deputies searched the property and found the two trenchers in a shed.

Court records show Spencer has a criminal history, having been convicted for numerous crimes including DWI, second-degree burglary, receiving stolen property and narcotics-related charges.