Dundalk man found guilty of having teen steal for him

December 29, 1991

A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge ordered a Dundalk man jailed Friday after finding him guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor by having a 13-year-old boy shoplift a socket set for him last February.

According to the statement of facts in the case, Paul L. Simmons would take the youth -- and at least two other teen-agers -- to stores, where he would select merchandise for them to steal, then sell the items and give them some of the money, said Assistant State's Attorney John P. Cox.

Simmons, 38, of the 1700 block of Langport Avenue, was found guilty and ordered to jail by Judge John Grason Turnbull II. The judge, who called Simmons' conduct outrageous, set sentencing March 4. Simmons faces a three-year sentence and a $2,500 fine.

Simmons, who Mr. Cox noted has a criminal record that includes drug possession, breaking and entering, and several larceny convictions, presented no defense yesterday.

The current charge arose Feb. 18, when a security guard at a Kmart store in the 200 block of North Point Boulevard caught the 13-year-old shoplifting and called his mother to pick him up, rather than having the boy arrested, according to the statement of facts. The guard recalled seeing the youth with an adult who had pointed to the $17 socket set and left the store, just before the theft attempt.

The prosecutor said that in April, another youth told the 13-year-old's mother that Simmons had taken him to Baltimore County stores, told him what to steal and collected the stolen merchandise in the parking lot. The mother called police, and investigators found a third boy who also said he had stolen for Simmons.

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