Ex-Royals employee accused of stealing, selling equipment

One transaction conducted during game, police say

READING, Pa. - A former Reading Royals employee has skated his way into trouble with the law.

Thomas Plaugher stole thousands of dollars worth of the ECHL team's ice hockey equipment, including sticks and skates, and sold the items, according to an affidavit of probable cause released Thursday.

The equipment went missing from the Santander Arena between December 2015 and March 2017, while Plaugher was working as the team's assistant equipment manager, police said.

An investigation revealed that Plaugher advertised the equipment for sale online and sold some of it at a roller skating rink in Cumru Township, according to court documents.

Plaugher actually went so far as to conduct one of the transactions -- the sale of five hockey sticks -- during a Royals game last season, having the buyer be let in by a security guard through the VIP doors on Cherry Street, police said.

Plaugher, 36, of Denver, Lancaster County, was charged with theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. He was freed on $10,000 unsecured bail.

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