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posted: 9/14/2012 9:36 AM

Priest gets 2 years of probation in ashtray theft

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Associated Press

BELLEVILLE -- A priest in southwestern Illinois has been sentenced to two years of probation after admitting he tried to shoplift an ashtray from an antique store while already on probation for pilfering butter and a sofa cover.

Forty-three-year-old Steven Poole on Thursday pleaded guilty but mentally ill in St. Clair County to a charge of misdemeanor retail theft.

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Authorities say he tried to swipe a $28 pipe-smoker's ashtray from a Belleville shop last November. Poole was arrested after the store's owner and another employee followed his PT Cruiser and summoned officers.

Poole already was serving two years of probation related to his trying to make off with $3.22 worth of butter and a $60 sofa cover he failed to scan at a Walmart self-service checkout in Franklin County.

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