- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Stephen R. Kent of District Heights was sentenced to 20 years for two separate cases involving burglaries in Dunkirk and Prince Frederick.
Kent, 42, pleaded guilty in January in Calvert County Circuit Court to one count of second-degree burglary in one case and one count of theft more than $10,000 but less than $100,000 in the other case.
In the first case, Kent was sentenced to 10 years for second-degree burglary and charged $1,877.38 in restitution to Valvoline. In the second case, Kent was sentenced to 10 years, to be served consecutively to the previous 10-year sentence, for theft more than $10,000 but less than $100,000 and charged $729.92 in restitution to William Patterson.
According to police reports, an employee of the Valvoline in Dunkirk arrived to work on June 17, 2012, and found the front door broken. Deputies responded and saw the alarm was activated, a screw driver on the ground and the store safe removed. Store surveillance video showed a white truck pull up in front of the store at 1:43 a.m. and a man, later identified as Kent, get out of the truck, walk into the store and remove the safe from the office.
Then at 2:55 a.m. Aug. 22, police responded to the Valvoline in Prince Frederick for a reported audible alarm coming from the store. A witness said a silver or gray van was driving out of the store’s parking lot with its lights off and was traveling south on Route 2/4. Dfc. S. Morder saw the vehicle traveling near Route 231 and performed a traffic stop, deputies said. The driver pulled onto Duke Street and stopped the van.
Morder contacted the driver, identified as Kent, and then saw the ignition system in the van had been destroyed. Motor Vehicle Administration inquiries showed Kent’s driver’s license had been suspended and revoked, a press release states, and Kent was taken into custody and driven to the sheriff’s office for further questioning.
Calvert Investigative Team members responded to the Valvoline, where a store manager confirmed someone had entered the office and tried to steal the business’s safe, according to original reports. As Det. Rich investigated the burglary, Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack Sgt. S. Roach contacted the registered owner of the 2005 Ford van, valued at more than $15,000.
The man allegedly said the van was his property and he used it for his company in District Heights, according to the police report. The man told Roach his van was stolen, that he did not know who Kent was and that Kent was not associated with his company or family.
Surveillance videos from the store were reviewed, allegedly showing Kent breaking into the store just before 3 a.m. Kent was wearing a red baseball hat, a black T-shirt, jeans, white socks and gray and blue New Balance shoes, deputies said, which was the same clothing he wore during the June 17 burglary. When he was arrested, Kent was wearing these clothes.