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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Man who broke into preschool sentenced

Hernando Today staff report

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SPRING HILL - A man who admitted to burglarizing a Spring Hill preschool last September and stealing office supplies for his wife who had recently been fired from there was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday.

Nathan Cook, 32, was initially arrested on charges of burglary of an unoccupied structure and grand theft after he revealed he broke into the First Friends Preschool at 2961 Landover Blvd. through an unsecured door and took a red tricycle and about $2,000 worth of office supplies.

Hernando Today previously reported Cook was linked to a cellphone left behind at the scene. When investigators responded to Cook's wife's home, Cook arrived with the office supplies in his car. He later said he was having marital problems with his wife, and thought the new supplies would cheer her up as she started a job search.

Cook was later arrested on charges of child abuse without great bodily harm after slapping his infant son in the face, according to the sheriff's office.

Cook has remained in the Hernando County Jail since his arrest and has 165 days time served. He will serve three years of probation upon his release, said Judge Stephen Toner. Completing a parenting class is among the terms.

For the grand theft and burglary charges, Cook was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution to the preschool, as well as court fines, costs and about $500 in investigation costs to the sheriff's office.

Court records show Cook was previously charged with misdemeanor battery in 2011 but avoided adjudication through pre-trial diversion.

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