Sykesville man gets more time in prison for generator theft

A 36-year-old Sykesville man, serving five years in state prison for his part in a 1989 tractor-theft ring, was sentenced yesterday jTC to serve two more years for stealing a generator last year.

Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold ordered Bernard Robert Alexander, of North Schoolhouse Road, to serve the sentence consecutively to his other prison time.


Under a plea arrangement, Alexander wasn't supposed to be in jail after cooperating with the Carroll state's attorney's office in the tractor-theft case. In exchange for a suspended sentence and five years of probation, Alexander agreed to help investigators locate nearly 80 tractors that had been stolen in 1988 and 1989 in Carroll and Baltimore counties.

But, Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman said yesterday, Alexander continued stealing.


"He's a career criminal; that'swhat he does, he steals," Mr. Hickman said yesterday in asking for a long sentence.

Alexander has a string of theft convictions, including a felony shoplifting from the Caldor department store in Cranberry Mall.

James A. Gede, Alexander's attorney, said Mr. Hickman's interest in seeing his client put in prison had nothing to do with his criminal activity.

"Perhaps the fact that the state's attorney who handled the case at the time [of the tractor-theft ring] was Jerry Barnes is what motivated the state to go so hog wild after Mr. Alexander," Mr. Gede said, referring to the former Carroll assistant state's attorney who ran against Mr. Hickman in the last election.

Mr. Hickman scoffed at the notion, saying that bringing charges in the generator theft, which resulted in Alexander's loss of probation and his current five-year sentence in the tractor case, was not part of any vendetta against Mr. Barnes or the defendant.