Man sentenced for camper theft


GREENVILLE – A Wayne Lakes man was indicted for grand theft for stealing a camper from a camper dealer, but a guilty plea to a lesser charge will enable him to keep his job so he can compensate his victims for their property loss.

David L. Harrison, 53, of Wayne Lakes, previously entered a plea and was found guilty of receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony, which was the second charge of the indictment, and a charge of theft and/or grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, was dismissed.

Harrison was indicted in connection with the theft of a camper from Davis Camper Sales in North Star Sept. 1, 2015.

“You attributed your conduct to stupidity,” Judge Jonathan P. Hein, Darke County Common Pleas Court, said to the defendant before reviewing the case.

“I just want to apologize to the people at Davis Campers,” Harrison said to the victims in court. “I made a big mistake. I’m completely embarrassed by it. I’m ashamed, and I sincerely apologize to him and to the court.”

Harrison said his priority was to continue working and pay the restitution for what he had taken from his victims.

Kent Davis, the owner of Davis Campers, prepared a statement for the court to consider for sentencing.

“Like most Darke County citizens, my wife and I have worked very hard to build our business,” he said.

“I cannot understand how someone could feel remotely entitled to drive onto someone’s property and drive off with something he or she has no claim to,” he continued.

Davis noted that the cost to his business has not only included the repairs to the camper that Harrison stripped but also the increased security to the business that they previously had not thought necessary.

Davis said he wanted to see “accountability” in this case.

“I want Dave Harrison to truly be held responsible for the money he owes and pay it within a timely manner,” Davis said.

Judge Hein explained his sentence to the Davis family as he pronounced it.

“Nonviolent, low-grade felonies are still important cases, but the legislature would say don’t even consider prison because the taxpayers don’t want to pay for prison for people that are nonviolent property criminals,” Hein said. “We’re supposed to used local sanctions, and what the local sanctions are is pretty much guided by what the local resources are.”

Hein explained the small size of the Darke County jail and the additional costs involved in sending inmates to Mercer County. He noted that the priority in this case was to compensate the victims for their loss, which would require issuing a punishment to the defendant that would not also cause him to lose his job.

Hein sentenced Harrison to 10 days in jail, with credit for two days served, to take place as the probation department deems appropriate. Harrison also will be subject to up to 60 months of supervision under the probation department, must pay restitution in the amount of $6,716.88 and perform 75 hours of community service.

Harrison was represented by attorney Randall Breaden, and the state was represented by Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby.

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