Serial Hardware Store Thief Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

42-year-old Terry Tompkins of Temple Hills was sentenced this week for a string of hardware store robberies.

A 15-year prison sentence was imposed on Tompkins with all but four years suspended, and he was sentenced to five years probation after his release. One count of robbery and three counts of theft stemming from four incidents at hardware stores in June and July 2022 led Tompkins to plead guilty on December 19th, 2022.

The sentencing hearing was held Wednesday, according to spokesperson Lauren DeMarco of the county’s State’s Attorney’s Office.

Tompkins, in one of the incidents, left the Silver Spring Ace Hardware store in Downtown Silver Spring on July 30th, 2022, with a cart full of copper wire and other electrical cable products without paying for them. He then attacked a store employee who attempted to film him with a cell phone; Tompkins stole the phone as he fled (video below).

In the summer of 2022, Tompkins was charged in five separate Maryland counties with over a dozen thefts from hardware stores. He committed additional thefts in multiple counties while on bond pending sentencing after pleading guilty to Montgomery County charges in December 2022.

Judge Michael McAuliffe noted these additional thefts as a reason for imposing a sentence at the top of the Maryland sentencing guidelines, DeMarco said.

Photo: Silver Spring Ace Hardware / Facebook


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