EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 16, 2012

Final sentencing in Piercing Pagoda theft

By Doug Ireland direland@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BRENTWOOD — The men walked into The Mall at Rockingham Park wearing dress shirts and ties, then walked out unnoticed — with $88,000 in jewelry.

But a surveillance camera at the mall captured everything, and they were captured as well. Yesterday, Mark Pasquarello, 39, of Woburn, Mass., was the last of the three men to be sentenced in Rockingham Superior Court for his role in the crime.

Pasquarello was sentenced by Judge Marguerite Wageling to two and half to six years in state prison on a felony theft charge for the incident at the Piercing Pagoda shortly before it opened on Oct. 28, 2010. His accomplices, Michael Gouthro and Scott McCabe, received identical sentences last fall. All three agreed to plea deals.

Pasquarello, shackled and wearing a prison jumpsuit, was ordered by Wageling to pay $88,000 in restitution for the stolen jewelry. He must also pay a $4,000 fine.

While two of the men wore dress shirts and ties, the third — wearing jeans and a white shirt — acted as a lookout during the 8 a.m. burglary, police said.

It was unusual for a burglary to occur at the mall that time of day, according to Salem police Detective Mike Bernard. The mall would usually be open then for people who come and walk for exercise. But Bernard said the mall was closed because of a fire drill.

Still, no one noticed as the men used a crowbar to open display cases at the Piercing Pagoda. They stuffed the jewelry into backpacks, but left the crowbar behind. The men casually walked out the same service entrance they entered and hopped into a waiting car, police said.

Pasquarello and Gouthro were captured shortly after the theft, but McCabe wasn’t arrested until nearly two months later.

Pasquarello’s sentencing was briefly held up by a disagreement between attorneys over whether he should receive credit for time he is currently serving in a Massachusetts prison.

Defense attorney Kimberly Shoen argued that Pasquarello was entitled to at least some credit, but prosecutor Lisa Cirulli disagreed. Wageling gave him credit for 19 days, with the possibility he could receive more pending a review. Questions arose over how long he had been held in Massachusetts.

Pasquarello remained silent through much of the sentencing, but did tell Wageling he has been incarcerated in the Bay State since his arrest two years ago.

He is serving a three-year prison sentence in Massachusetts for receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools. Pasquarello has a criminal record dating back to the 1990s and was scheduled to be released in November 2013.

“He has a lengthy criminal history,” Cirulli said.

His New Hampshire sentence will be served concurrently with his sentence in Massachusetts. If convicted at trial, he could have received 10 to 30 years in prison.