February 20, 2013

Former couple charged in theft of $4,000 worth of tools in Readfield

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Two people have been charged in connection with the theft of $4,000 worth of tools from a trailer in Readfield.

Tara Casoria

Contributed photo

Joshua Hood

Contributed photo

Tara Casoria, 29, of Gardiner, and her ex-boyfriend, 31-year-old Joshua Hood, of Mount Vernon, were arrested Friday and charged with theft by receiving stolen property. Casoria also was charged with aggravated forgery.

Both were being held Wednesday at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta. Casoria was being held without bail on a probation hold and $250 cash, and Hood was being held in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

Most of the stolen tools have been recovered.

The tools were stolen Feb. 11 from a trailer owned by Steve McGee Construction that was parked overnight at the town sand shed off North Road in Readfield, according to an affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court by Trooper William Plourde, of the Maine State Police. The tools, which included an impact gun, a grinder and wrenches, were worth $4,000, according to a McGee employee.

Some of those tools turned up two days later when Plourde checked an Augusta pawn shop. The shop owner said Casoria had pawned several Snap-on tools at his business. The shop owner gave Plourde a slip that Casoria had signed, claiming she owned the tools and they were not stolen.

Plourde, accompanied by Trooper James Leonard and Gardiner police Officer Eric Testerman, went to Casoria's Pleasant Street home the next day. Casoria admitted having pawned the tools for Hood because he had just gotten out of jail and lacked state identification.

"She said that Hood had a bunch of tools beneath his bed and in the trunk of his car, which she thought belonged to him," Plourde wrote. "Casoria said that she had no idea the tools were stolen and thought she was doing Hood a favor."

Plourde returned to the Augusta pawn shop to recover tools Casoria had pawned on two occasions since the theft. The McGee employee confirmed the tools were the ones stolen from the trailer.

Later that day, police searched Hood's home on Round Stone Road.

Hood told Plourde he had bought the tools from someone who needed money, and that he paid $200 for them. He knew they were high-quality because he has worked as a mechanic, Plourde said. Hood claimed the seller also had sold tools to a mechanic in Augusta.

"According to Hood, he 'saw a deal and I took it' but figured the tools were most likely stolen," Plourde wrote.

Police found most of the remaining tools in Hood's Buick. A tool box was found next to the couch and a tire pressure gauge was found on a shelf.


Craig Crosby -- 621-5642

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