Man charged with stealing school-issued iPads from Rockland home

Posted Nov. 04, 2013, at 3:46 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine – A 31-year-old man with a lengthy criminal record is back behind bars after police said he broke into a Rockland home Friday and stole two school-issued iPads.

Vaughn S. Clark, whose last known address was listed as the Maine State Prison, made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon in Rockland District Court on charges of burglary, theft and refusing to submit to arrest. Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $5,000 cash, although Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said the amount would be moot because Clark’s probation officer has requested he be held on a probation violation.

An affidavit filed in court by Rockland police states that Clark entered the mudroom of a home on Florence Street on Nov. 1 and stole two iPads from the backpacks of children who left them there after arriving home from school.

Shortly after that theft was reported, police encountered Clark while responding to a call about a disturbance at a nearby location.

Because Clark was on probation, officers were able to conduct a search of him and his possessions, and found the iPads, according to the affidavit. The officers also reported finding a syringe in his pocket. Clark put up a struggle and police had to use force to subdue him, the affidavit said.

Clark told an officer that he thought the items he had taken were food, according to the affidavit.

Fernald sought $10,000 bail during Monday’s hearing, citing Clark’s lengthy criminal record which dated back to a 2000 aggravated assault conviction. The suspect also was convicted of burglary in 2003 and later of multiple offenses of theft and probation violation, the prosecutor said.

“He’s certainly looking at the possibility of several years,” Fernald said about sentencing for Clark if he is convicted of the new crimes.

Defense Attorney James Mason asked for $1,000 cash bail, saying that would be a significant amount for his client to raise. Mason argued that the new crimes were small incidents that spun out of control.

Fernald countered that breaking into someone’s home and stealing children’s iPads were not small issues.

Mason also told the judge that Clark had been diagnosed with leukemia.

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