PLAISTOW — A former eighth-grade teacher from Salem is facing more charges for allegedly pawning valuables taken from a friend's home.
Stephen Pierce, 46, a former teacher from Salem, was charged by Plaistow police on two misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property, according to Plaistow Deputy Police Chief Kathleen Jones.
“He sold two watches in Plaistow that were identified as coming from a friend's home in Atkinson,” Jones said on Thursday.
It marks the third time Pierce has been booked on theft-related charges since police discovered he had stolen a Nikon D60 from the Woodbury School in Salem sometime around April 9.
Pierce — who resigned from his job earlier this year — is scheduled for arraignment on Monday in 10th Circuit Court.
Jones said Pierce allegedly pawned the two watches at Rockingham Trading Post in Plaistow on March 30. Pierce turned himself in on July 16 after a warrant for his arrest. He remains free on $1,000 bail.
The case against Pierce unfolded when a teacher at Woodbury School in charge of the yearbook program reported that a Nikon D60 was missing.
Officer Bob Genest of the Salem Police Department began reviewing local pawn slips that showed Pierce sold the camera to a Route 28 pawn shop for $150 cash, according to police.
Genest then undertook a larger review of pawn slips going back to 2010, uncovering a pattern of Pierce allegedly selling off roughly 40 pieces of jewelry stolen from an Atkinson couple valued at more than $33,000.
Police said the couple reported jewelry was missing from their home after learning about Pierce pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges that he had stolen the school camera. Pierce received a suspended seven-day jail sentence in that case.
Police said they believe Pierce had stolen the pawned items but decided to charge him with receiving stolen property because there is a paper trail linking Pierce to the stolen items.
Atkinson and Plaistow were only able to bring misdemeanor charges because the dollar amount Pierce received for what he pawned was little.
In Salem, the total value of pawned items was much higher, police said.
Pierce faces a felony charge punishable by up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison in the Salem case.
The Salem charges are expected to be heard by a grand jury in Rockingham County Superior Court.