July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Elyria man gets probation for guitar thefts

MEDINA — A 45-year-old Elyria man convicted of stealing $125,000 worth of guitars and musical equipment from a Liverpool Township warehouse will spend three years on probation. But it’s unclear whether he will pay restitution.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier scheduled a hearing in two weeks to discuss the question of restitution from Stephen C. Bugg, who pleaded no contest in May to theft.

Stephen Bugg

The charge is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 1½ years behind bars.

Bugg is accused of stealing the musical equipment from CPS Delivery Systems, where he worked. His former coworker, 50-year-old William Osiek, pleaded no contest to an identical charge in September and was sentenced to a year of probation last week.

County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said Bugg’s plea change was part of an agreement.

“The agreement was we wouldn’t seek prison, but he would pay restitution,” Salisbury said. “They deserve to be paid back for what he stole.”

Bugg’s attorney, David Gedrock, said he was concerned his client would end up back in court if he couldn’t raise enough money to make full restitution.

“I’m worried that much restitution is setting him up for failure,” Gedrock said.

In court Tuesday, a probation officer said CPS Delivery Systems officials had not returned calls to inquire whether they wanted restitution.

Salisbury said the losses to the company were paid with insurance money after the company met a $5,000 deductible. If restitution is granted, he said the money should go back to the insurance company and to repay the deductible.

Salisbury said Bugg must fulfill his part of the plea deal or face prison.

“If the defendant doesn’t want to pay restitution, then he should go to prison for 18 months,” Salisbury said. “That’s clear to me.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.