Burglar who was 'on a mission to steal to get drugs' gets sent to prison for home invasion

Cary Ashby • Jan 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Ian S. Poland struggled to control his emotions before he read his statement to the judge. The convicted burglar cried briefly.

Poland said he regrets invading the victims' home and letting substance abuse affect his thinking and actions.

The 24-year-old New London defendant is convicted of fleeing from police after a Sept. 13 burglary in Norwalk.

The Norwalk Police Department arrested Poland, who stole an HP laptop computer, in the basement of a Newton Street apartment complex shortly after he fled from inside a Cortland Street residence. Officers recovered the computer.

Two to three minutes after the burglary was reported, an officer who was checking the area spotted Poland cutting through back yards. Police have credited a witness with providing "a really, really detailed description" of the defendant.

"(Detective Sgt.) Jim Fulton got him (Poland) to admit he was on a mission to steal to get drugs," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said in October, soon after Poland was indicted.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said a victim who was home during the burglary "continues to be fearful" and will seek counseling.

What the judge said he finds most disturbing is that Poland was released from prison in April after serving a three-year term for burglary and committed a similar offense about five months later.

Poland, at Wednesday's hearing, urged the judge to consider rehabilitation because he said he wants to continue being sober.

Lately, the defendant has been attending AA and NA meetings. He also had a seasonal job, but his employer later released him. While in prison, Poland completed several substance abuse programs and took classes for his GED, but failed the pre-test.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, who called the recent home invasion a "serious crime," said it's obvious Poland's prison term for his 2010 burglary conviction "didn't do much good."

"Any breach of someone's home is a serious offense," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said.

In addition to Poland's "serious substance abuse issue," Longo told the judge he should consider that his client likely has some diminished mental capacity.

In December, Poland pleaded guilty to an amended burglary charge. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed the second felony on Poland's indictment, tampering with evidence.

Given the short time between the end of Poland's prison term and the Sept. 13 burglary, Conway said he had no choice but to put Poland back behind bars in order to protect the public.

Poland received a 30-month prison term Wednesday.

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