Centralia Man Pleads Guilty to Theft From City Light Payment Box

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A man charged with breaking into a Centralia City Light payment box and taking a number of payments pleaded guilty Wednesday, two weeks after he was charged.

Erick D. Teichman-Lehrer, 35, of Centralia, was charged March 1 in Lewis County Superior Court with three counts of second-degree theft.

He has been held since then on $10,000 bail in the Lewis County Jail.

On Wednesday, Teichman-Lehrer pleaded guilty to all three charges as well as a fourth charge of first-degree criminal trespass from an unrelated incident that had been referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Prosecutor’s Office and Teichman-Lehrer’s attorney, David Arcuri, jointly recommended a 60-day jail sentence, considering that he has no previous felony convictions.

At 6:24 a.m. on Feb. 20, police received a report that the box, in the 500 block of North Pearl Street, had been broken into and was empty.

The box’s back opening was pried open.

Surveillance video caught the incident the previous evening, according to the city of Centralia.

Later that week, a city employee noticed a truck matching the description of the one in the surveillance video.

Police investigated and found the truck on the side of the road in the 500 block of North Gold Street with one male occupant. An officer found Teichman-Lehrer working on the vehicle and noted that he matched the description of the man in the surveillance video.

According to court documents, Teichman-Lehrer admitted he broke into the drop box because he needed money to get to Oregon. He turned the stolen checks over to police.

The total amount of the checks was $2,296.

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