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Columbia man sentenced for string of tire and rim thefts

A Columbia man arrested last year in a series of auto tire and rim thefts across Howard County pleaded guilty Monday in Howard County Circuit Court.

Deaundre T. Wallace, 27, of the 7000 block of Deepage Drive, pleaded guilty to a single count of theft scheme between $10,000 and $100,000, the county prosecutor’s office announced.

Wallace’s attorney Oleg Fastovsky had no comment when reached Tuesday.

According to police and prosecutors, between June and August 2017, residents in Columbia, Ellicott City, Jessup and Laurel discovered their cars resting on concrete blocks with the tires and rims missing.

Police obtained a GPS tracking device and planted it on a vehicle associated with two suspects identified during the course of their investigation, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Shortly after, the vehicle was tracked to the 8000 block of Oakton Lane in Ellicott City, where detectives observed Wallace remove four tires and rims and place them into the vehicle, driven by Arooj Wilson.

The couple drove to a Laurel motel and stored the tires and rims in their motel room. Inside, police discovered two complete sets of tires and rims, a mechanical jack, a hydraulic jack and heavy-duty work gloves.

Wallace and Wilson were arrested, and Wallace later admitted to 10 separate thefts.

Judge Timothy J. McCrone sentenced Wallace to five years in prison, suspending all but 90 days. Wallace had no prior convictions, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Wallace must also pay the victims $3,650 for their out-of-pocket insurance deductibles.

Arooj Wilson, 27, of the 10000 block of Hickory Ridge Road, pleaded guilty to a single charge of being a rogue and vagabond on Jan. 22 and received a three-year suspended sentence. Wilson was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was placed on three years of supervised probation.

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