PLAINVILLE - A New Britain man who stole more than $35,000 worth of merchandise when he worked at a Plainville retailer was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday.
Paul LaRochelle, 41, was expected to receive the sentence during a hearing on Wednesday, but he was in the hospital for an undisclosed reason. During a hearing Thursday in Bristol Superior Court, his attorney, Elisa Villa, said she able to verify that her client was hospitalized a day earlier. She did not say why.
LaRochelle was handed down the sentence after accepting a plea bargain in January, when he pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree larceny.
LaRochelle had been offered another plea bargain that would have sent him to prison for two years, but that deal would have required restitution. The deal he accepted does not include paying Kohl's back.
According to police, officers were called in June to Kohl’s, located at 200 New Britain Ave., on the report of an employee stealing from the store. LaRochelle, police said, was seen on video surveillance taking items from the store and hiding them outside until his shift was over, when he drove to the loading dock area and tried to recoup the merchandise. Security officers from the store contacted police after seeing this.
Police said LaRochelle admitted to stealing things from the store for several months and pawning them. It was later determined that Kohl’s was out about $34,000 worth of merchandise. LaRochelle no longer works for the retailer.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.