Pittsfield man escapes further jail time after admitting theft of cash, gumball machine


PITTSFIELD -- A city man who admitted to a series of crimes, including helping to steal a gumball machine, won't have to serve any more jail time after pleading guilty to multiple charges.

James Scales IV, 27, of Atwood Avenue, was working at Berkshire West Athletic Club on Dan Fox Drive in Pittsfield in December 2012 when he disconnected a security camera, broke into a safe at the club and made off with about $450 in cash and $900 in checks.

Investigators said they later determined that during November 2011 and December 2012 Scales had also stolen a gumball machine from the club with a friend, broke into an SUV parked in the club's parking lot and took $50 from inside, among other crimes.

An attempted break-in of another gumball machine netted him $1, police said.

In the midst of the investigation into the crimes, Scales asked his boss for a pay raise, police said.

After suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle accident Scales became addicted to legally prescribed painkillers and began abusing suboxone after his insurance ran out, according to prosecutor Dana Parsons.

Scales pleaded guilty on Monday in a Jury of Six session of Central Berkshire District Court, to seven felonies and a misdemeanor, including multiple counts of larceny, breaking into a depository and vandalism.

Judge Philip A. Beattie sentenced Scales to a nine month suspended jail sentence, with 30 days to be served, time Scales has already served awaiting the outcome of the case. The rest of the time was suspended for a year. During that period Scales must attend drug and alcohol counseling, remain free of drugs and alcohol and pay back about $1,763 to the victims.

The judge followed the joint recommendation of Parsons and Scales' attorney, David C. Cafarelli.

Last month, Scales had a drunken driving charge continued without a finding of guilt and pleaded guilty to vandalism. According to Pittsfield Police, in August he caused a disturbance at a local bar by throwing a bar stool out the front door and then drunkenly crashed into a police cruiser that had come to investigate.

He is currently serving one year of probation on that case.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx


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