Builder gets 90 days for stealing from clients

September 20, 1995

A Union Mills man was sentenced to 90 days in the Carroll County Detention Center yesterday after being convicted of stealing more than $80,000 from a Pennsylvania couple for whom he was supposed to build a house.

Dean Spicer Gray, 28, pleaded guilty yesterday but allowed prosecutors to read a statement of facts that could convict him.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop several other charges of theft and doing home improvements without a license. Prosecutors also placed on the inactive docket similar theft charges in connection with a Marriottsville victim.

Police said Gray, who lives on Band Hall Hill Road, had agreed to build a house in Hanover, Pa., for Eileen and Charles Bell, who had set up an escrow account to pay for their new home.

Gray forged the couple's signatures and withdrew three payments of $26,990 each without the Bells' authorization, police said. He has since signed a judgment note admitting that he owes the Bells $81,447 at 10 percent interest.

"This is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul," said Gray's attorney, Frank D. Coleman, noting that his client used the money to buy materials to rebuild a house he was constructing that burned down. Gray was not carrying insurance on the house, Mr. Coleman said.

Gray, who is to begin serving his Carroll County sentence tomorrow morning, is facing charges of completing home improvements without a license in Baltimore County.

Police

Westminster: A resident of Old New Windsor Road reported to police that his 1985 Ford Mustang was stolen from his home Monday. He estimated the loss at $5,000.

Westminster: A Union Street resident told police that the side of his vehicle was scratched while it was parked near his home Monday. The damage was estimated at $300.

Westminster: A resident of Pennsylvania Avenue reported to police that the hood and headlight of her car were damaged while it was parked near her home Monday. She estimated the damage at $100.

Westminster: An employee of Postman Plus told city police that windows at the business were broken Sunday. The damage was estimated at $600.

Fire

Westminster: Pleasant Valley and Westminster were dispatched to investigate the report of a fire alarm sounding in a building on John Owings Road at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Units were out 30 minutes.

Westminster: Westminster and Reese were dispatched to investigate the report of a natural gas leak at a construction site on Canon Way at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. No gas was found by firefighters or a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee who checked the area with gas-detecting instruments. Units were out 38 minutes.

Westminster: Westminster and Reese were dispatched to investigate the report of a natural gas leak on Pennsylvania Avenue at 7:26 a.m. Tuesday. Units were out 42 minutes.

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