Fittest loser
Article posted: 1/29/2013 6:39 PM

Restitution ordered in $160,000 Naperville theft

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A Texas man avoided prison but must pay restitution for stealing more than $100,000 in computer equipment from a Naperville company.

Hai Pham, 51, of Houston, pleaded guilty Friday to felony theft and was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge by DuPage County Judge George Bakalis.

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As part of the plea agreement, Pham will pay $16,900 in restitution -- the balance of what he owed after returning most of the stolen goods, according to defense attorney Paul DeLuCa.

Prosecutors said Pham swiped more than a dozen industrial-grade circuit packs and hard drives while working as a subcontractor in May 2011 at Alcatel-Lucent, 2000 Naperville-Wheaton Road. He had been brought in to work on the technology firm's computer network.

Security footage captured Pham taking the items -- some which had theft sensors -- before returning to Texas. Authorities estimated the total value of the equipment at $160,000, court records show.

DeLuCa said Pham gave back the bulk of the equipment shortly after his arrest. "The majority of it was usable," he said Tuesday. "They weren't even opened."

Pham has been allowed to live in Texas, where he has a job and family, while serving conditional discharge. The thefts were "a serious mistake on his part," DeLuCa said.

Pham could have faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted at trial. He had no prior criminal history.

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