Mark Skeen didn’t hesitate yesterday when a Franklin County judge asked him how he obtained three pieces of rare pottery that belong to Ohio State University.

“I went in and stole them,” the 56-year-old South Side resident said.

Skeen took the items from a display case in the Baggs Memorial Library in the basement of Hopkins Hall. He sold them on Oct. 16 to a South Side antique dealer for $300, Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Murnane said.

The large vase, valued at $10,000 to $15,000, and two smaller pieces, each valued at $3,000 to $5,000, were created by Marblehead Pottery, which produced ceramics in Massachusetts from 1904 to 1936. The library is named for Arthur E. Baggs, an OSU ceramics professor from 1928 to 1947, who owned Marblehead Pottery.

Common Pleas Judge Pat Sheeran wanted to know how Skeen managed to gain access to the items.

“There was no lock on the glass container,” Christopher Skeen said. “I slid the glass door open and walked out.”

Sheeran sentenced him to eight months in jail after Skeen pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property. He will be credited with the 61 days he has spent in jail since his arrest.

“I was strung out on heroin,” Skeen said, “and this is the result of that.”

The sentence was recommended by the prosecution and defense after Skeen told his attorney, Thomas Lininger, that the court shouldn’t bother with a presentence investigation. He has served previous prison stints for theft, burglary and receiving stolen property, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records show.

Lambar Sales at 960 Parsons Ave. purchased the pottery from Skeen, who stopped there about once a month to sell items, Murnane said.

Lambar sold the two smaller pieces to a collector in Wisconsin for $3,800, but by then the university had reported the items stolen and word reached an antiques appraiser who was aware that Lambar had obtained them.

The judge ordered Skeen to pay the collector $3,800 as restitution.

Skeen, of Hinkle Avenue, told the judge that he has been on Social Security disability for more than 20 years because of “a severe, persistent mental disorder.”