ROWLEY — An Ipswich man charged with stealing from Market Basket and then hitting two cars while leaving the plaza in June was banned from the grocery store after admitting Thursday in Newburyport District Court that a judge or jury could find him guilty.

Michael Paquette, 40, of Agawam Village fled the supermarket, located off Route 1, with $77 worth of unpaid items June 23. In addition to shoplifting, Paquette was summonsed on two counts of leaving the scene of property damage and operating a motor vehicle to endanger.

When Paquette left the store with several items, he saw employees walking toward him calling for him. He then dropped the items and took off in his car, striking two cars in the process, according to Rowley police.

Paquette then drove to another area of the large parking lot and pulled over long enough for his wife to get into the car. She sat in the driver’s seat and Paquette laid down in the back seat.

But before they were able to leave the parking lot, Market Basket employees got close enough to get the car’s license plate number. That allowed police to track down and summons Paquette.

Paquette’s wife was not charged because she had no knowledge of what her husband had done, according to police.

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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