Stolen Bracelet Lands Businessman in Trouble
Arthur Beebe of Twin State Coins buys and sells gold and silver on Oct. 20, 2010. ( Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
North Haverhill — A precious metals dealer pleaded guilty Friday to accepting a stolen bracelet valued at more than $1,500 and leading investigators to believe he had sent it away when it in fact was in his West Lebanon business.
During a hearing in Grafton Superior Court, Arthur Beebe, who owns Twin State Coin & Treasures, appeared to go through with a plea deal with some reluctance. When Judge Peter Bornstein asked Beebe if he would be pleading guilty — a perfunctory question to initiate the proceeding — Beebe shook his head and sighed before answering in the affirmative.
Bornstein noted that the defendant appeared to “demonstrate some degree of tentativeness,” which Beebe acknowledged. The case centers around a gold bracelet marked with the word “Tiffany,” which prosecutor Melissa Pierce said in court was stolen from the Hanover Inn and later sold to Beebe at Twin State Coin & Treasures for drug money.
The thieves were not identified in court.
“Yes sir, there is a degree of tentativeness, because in my business, what I did was I bought a piece of gold,” said Beebe, 66, of Charlestown. “This piece of gold happened to be a bracelet with the name Tiffany on it. To us, that means nothing. It’s a piece of gold.
“I paid fair market value for it, and I did not know it was stolen when I bought it,” he said, frustration audible in his voice.
The judge explained that he would be asking Beebe whether Beebe was pleading guilty because, in fact, he was.
“On the second charge, your honor, I am guilty,” Beebe said, referring to the charge of misleading police. He was cut off from saying more by his public defender, Curtis Payne, who sternly told Beebe: “Stop talking.”
Bornstein ordered a brief recess. As they walked out of the courtroom, Payne told Beebe, “We talked about this ... You can’t take a plea and then explain to the judge why you don’t want to take a plea.”
When court resumed, Beebe answered the judge’s questions with simple “yes sir” and “no sir” responses, pleading guilty to the two felony charges.
The maximum sentence for the charges is 7 years imprisonment and $4,000 in fines. In the capped plea deal, prosecutors agreed to a maximum sentence of 11/2 to 3 years in prison for the first charge, but Beebe will seek to serve county jail time instead.
Prison time for the second charge would be suspended.
A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
According to Pierce, who was filling in for the prosecutor overseeing the case, Beebe paid $653 for the bracelet and it is valued at about $1,500 to $2,000.
Prosecutors allege that when police investigated the missing bracelet, belonging to Lisa Ford, of Ann Arbor, Mich., in September 2013, Beebe knew they would be asking about the bracelet marked “Tiffany” before they said the name. Police said Beebe told them he had sent it to one location, then said he sent it to another.
They allege he mailed an empty box to that person and asked him to mail it back so that he would have a UPS tracking number to show police, but that it was at Twin State Coin & Treasures the whole time.
In court on Friday, Bornstein approved Beebe’s request for a probation officer to complete a pre-sentence investigation into Beebe’s history.
“It’s a complicated case, your honor,” Payne told the judge, explaining the request. “What Mr. Beebe would like to do is provide the court with an understanding of how this entire transaction transpired. He has a record, but it’s a record that’s 15 years old.”
In court, Pierce, the prosecutor, said Beebe’s most recent criminal conviction was in 1999, when he was convicted of a controlled drug violation.
She listed several other violations dating back to 1966, including simple assault, robbery, burglary and theft by unauthorized taking.
Maggie Cassidy can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3220.
Arthur Beebe pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, a gold bracelet, and falsifying physical evidence during a hearing in Grafton Superior Court on Friday. The bracelet belongs to Lisa Ford, of Ann Arbor, Mich. Beebe's first name and the victim's hometown were both misspelled in an earlier version of this story.