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Maryland man sentenced to prison for role in motor vehicle thefts in West Deer, elsewhere

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Maryland man will spend two years and three months in prison for participating in a motor vehicle theft ring that stole motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles from Virginia and Pennsylvania dealerships, including one in West Deer, a Pittsburgh federal judge ruled on Thursday.

Rodney D. Deminds Jr., 24, of Belcamp, Md., pled guilty in May to a conspiracy charge. U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry also sentenced him to three years of probation and ordered him to pay $10,993.22 in restitution, according to the Western District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney's Office.

Deminds' former stepfather, Harvey Leemore, 37, of Baltimore is serving a five-year sentence in a New Jersey federal prison for the thefts.

Leemore, Deminds and at least two others broke into several dealerships from Virginia to Ohio between 2011 and 2012, allegedly stealing four motorcycles, 12 ATVs and five lawn tractors. The value of the stolen items exceeds $200,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The crew would transport the stolen items on a stolen box truck to Baltimore where they resold them, prosecutors say.

Collin D. Powell, 22, and Trea C. Powell, 23, brothers from Baltimore, were indicted in May on conspiracy and interstate transportation of motor vehicles charges that stem from the thefts.

The latter was fatally shot on July 10 in East Baltimore.

The Baltimore Police Department had no immediate suspects in the homicide and Baltimore homicide detectives refused on Friday to provide an update on the investigation.

Collin Powell is awaiting trial.

Crossroads Motorsports at Route 910 and Oak Road in West Deer was among the dealerships burglarized. West Deer police Chief Jon Lape said four motorcycles, six ATVs and other equipment worth about $85,000 were stolen in September 2011 from Crossroads.

The burglars broke into the dealership through a rear door, removed seven ATVs, and left with six after dropping one along the roadside about a quarter-mile away from the dealership. Several stolen helmets — each worth an estimated $750 — were found tossed into the woods, as well.

Lape couldn't explain why.

The other victimized dealerships in Pennsylvania are located in Gaines, Tioga County; Edensburg and Altoona. A Purcellville, Va., dealer was also burglarized.

Pennsylvania State Police, the Western Pennsylvania Auto Theft Task Force and the FBI investigated the thefts.

Inquiries made to the Pennsylvania State Police Harrisburg headquarters regarding the investigation and arrests went unanswered.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com. Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com

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