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Forum staff reports, Published October 04 2010

Final defendant in Best Buy theft ring pleads guilty

The last of a dozen defendants charged in a series of thefts from Fargo’s Best Buy pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court on Monday, sentenced to 1½ years of supervised probation and 50 hours of community service.

Clarence Puty Taye, who was 19 when charged with felony theft in April, was also given a deferred imposition, meaning that if he successfully completes his probation the conviction will be removed from his public criminal record, said Tanya Johnson Martinez, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney.

He was one of the 12 men charged in connection with the theft of about $150,000 of merchandise from Best Buy in Fargo, assisted by a pair of security guards who let others take unpaid goods out of the store.

In court records, police alleged that Taye returned about $2,000 in stolen merchandise.