Three years in jail for stealing GPS map cards

WHEELING – Lawrence Paul Smith will serve at least three years in prison for stealing GPS map cards from Cabela’s at The Highlands.

Circuit Judge James Mazzone sentenced Smith, 42, of Weirton, on Friday after Smith pleaded guilty to a single count of breaking without entering.

Assistant Prosecutor Brian Ghaphery said that on April 11, Smith stole nine GPS map cards valued at $953.90 with the intention of returning the items for a cash refund.

Ghaphery said Deputy H.J. Haglock arrived at the scene shortly after a Cabela’s security officer tackled Smith as Smith was exiting the building.

According to Ghaphery, Smith was on parole for a 2012 conviction of stealing from J.C. Penney at The Highlands when the latest charge developed.

Mazzone accepted a joint recommendation from Ghaphery and defense attorney Matthew Chapman calling for Smith to serve his parole violation sentence concurrent with the new charge. Smith also agreed to cooperate with authorities regarding a theft ring targeting The Highlands in which individuals stole items and returned them to the store for cash to buy drugs.

Mazzone sentenced Smith to one to 10 years in prison with a condition that he not go before a parole board for at least three years.

Prior to sentencing, Smith said he agreed with Ghaphery’s assessment of what had happened.

“I did what he said,” Smith said. “I don’t want to waste the court’s time. I am willing to take my punishment.”