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A former employee of Electric Boat who stole two expensive devices from the shipyard and pawned them locally was sentenced Monday to 30 days in prison.
Alexander T. Taylor, 29, whose court files indicate he has lived recently at addresses in Quaker Hill, Groton and New London, had pleaded guilty in New London Superior Court to third-degree larceny. He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in an unrelated case involving a crash on Interstate 395.
Taylor had worked as a quality assurance analyst at Electric Boat, earning a salary of more than $67,000 a year when he stole two Niton X-ray analyzers, which are used to determine the composition of various metals, in June 2012. He pawned the devices, which are valued at $40,000 each, for $2,000 and $2,500 at pawn shops in Groton and New London.
“I had a great career,” Taylor said to Judge Hillary B. Strackbein before she imposed his sentence. “I made the conscious decision to do it and regret my decision every day.”
Taylor had left high school early to go to work and had been employed at EB since 2003, according to his attorney, Peter E. Scillieri, who said the incident was out of character for Taylor, who was going through a divorce and may have been suffering from depression. He said Taylor has a new job and his employer is willing to take him back when he is released.
Confronted by Groton Town Police after they discovered he pawned one of the X-ray analyzers at Gold Star Pawn in Groton using his own name, Taylor said he had been having money problems and used the money to catch up on his rent, according to his court file. He said he had sold his motorcycle in an attempt to get the device back from the pawn shop and return it to his employer. The police subsequently learned that Taylor pawned the other X-ray analyzer at Yankee Peddlar & Pawn in New London.
Prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla said many people who embezzle say they planned to repay their employer. He said pawning the devices locally was “brazen” of Taylor, which lends some credence to his claim that he planned to retrieve the devices from the pawn shop.
In the drunken-driving case, Taylor had been drinking heavily at Sunset Ribs in Waterford on April 24, 2013, when he lost control of his GMC Yukon on Interstate 395 north near Exit 82, according to his court file. The car crossed from the left lane into the right, struck a curb and traveled 100 feet up a hill before flipping onto the roof and landing in the right travel lane. Blood tests indicated that Taylor had a blood alcohol content of .200. His 30-day sentence includes a mandatory 48 hours for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He will be on probation for three years following his release.
Strackbein told Taylor that a lot of his decision-making has been “significantly flawed” and that it’s possible he is one of those people who can’t drink alcohol. She ordered him to attend a victim impact panel, make a charitable contribution and undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment if necessary.