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Rochelle pair facing new theft charges

SYCAMORE – Two people arrested earlier this year for theft appeared in court Monday on new charges of burglary.

Justin M. Carraher, 25, of the 100 block of South Field Court in Rochelle, and Maria L. Gardner, 38, of the 400 block of North 10th Street in Rochelle, are charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Both appeared in court via closed-circuit TV from the DeKalb County Jail.

If convicted of burglary, Carraher and Gardner face up to seven years in prison. Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert told Gardner because she was out on bond for a felony theft charge when the new offense is said to have occurred, she could face consecutive sentencing.

On Sept. 18, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and Malta police investigated a burglary at 302 S. Orput St. in Malta, where several items were stolen from a garage and around the property.

Some of the items were recovered in Gardner’s 1994 GMC van, which was used during the burglary, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said the two took mostly scrap metal that was not of significant value.

Arrest warrants were issued Sept. 21, with bond set at $250,000 for Carraher and Gardner.

Carraher pleaded guilty in August to felony theft, aggravated battery, two counts of retail theft, theft, driving while license suspended and driving under the influence.

Police said he and Gardner took two steel beams June 4 from a construction site in the 900 block of East State Street and stole shoes June 1 from Kohl’s. Carraher also was charged with attacking a Kohl’s employee.

The public defender’s office will continue representing Gardner, whose theft case is still pending. Carraher will be represented by local attorney Robert Nolan as conflict counsel.

Gardner will next appear in court Oct. 2. Carraher will be in court again Oct. 4.

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