AUGUSTA — An Augusta man who was caught multiple times on video as he stole items — including bottles, cans and a baby stroller — was sentenced Monday to three years in prison.

Joseph Carter, 52, whose criminal record includes multiple theft and burglary charges, pleaded guilty to new felony burglary and theft charges, with the new charges elevated to class C felonies due to his record. Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Three of the thefts were caught on videotape, in at least one case by a neighbor to the crime scene, according to Michael Madigan, an assistant district attorney.

Madigan said in court Monday a woman who had a baby stroller stolen had video footage of it being taken in May in Augusta. Carter was later located by police as he was pushing the stroller and using it to collect bottles. He told officers someone had given him the stroller.

Carter was also accused of stealing a woman’s bicycle that had been left outside an apartment May 21 in Augusta. While police were investigating that theft, a neighbor reported having video footage of Carter riding a bike in the neighborhood. Police later learned from the owner of an Augusta pawn shop that Carter had pawned the bicycle the day it was stolen.

On June 2 in Augusta, a man also reported bottles and cans had been stolen from his porch. Video of that theft showed Carter taking the items, Madigan testified in court Monday.


When police stopped Carter to ask him about the theft, he initially denied involvement until police said it was on camera. Carter then admitted to taking the bottles and cans, according to Madigan.

Carter later told police he had hidden the bottles and cans in the woods. He said he retrieved them later, taking them to a redemption center for about $5.

Carter pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with the state. Judge Paul Matthews said the three-year sentence seemed to be in line with what should be expected for someone with a criminal record like Carter’s.

Madigan said most of the stolen items were recovered. He said the state is not seeking restitution for the crimes, noting Carter already has a significant amount of restitution still owed from past cases.

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