A convicted burglar who showed authorities where the garage break-ins happened was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday.
Kyle S. Weiner, 23, of 410 E. Walton St., Lot 28, Willard, received a two-year term for two burglary charges and 11 months for one count of theft of a credit card. Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway ruled the sentence would be served at the same time and ordered the defendant to pay $2,110 in restitution along with his accomplices.
In an earlier plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining six charges of Weiner's indictment -- two counts of burglary and four charges of breaking and entering.
"A great many people were impacted by his behavior," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said about the 16 victims.
Woodruff recommended the judge impose an 18-month prison term.
"I know what I did was wrong. There's no excuse for what I did," Weiner told the court Tuesday.
Weiner committed the offenses while he was on probation through Norwalk Municipal Court.
"He went above and beyond to cooperate with authorities," said Huron County Public Defender David Longo, who credited his client for giving investigators a tour of the crime scenes. "Many (of these cases) would be unsolved if not for his assistance."
Longo stressed that his client never entered a residence, only garages.
"The burglary charges were for attached garages," Longo added. "I think his remorse is genuine and his cooperation is certainly genuine."
In Richland County, Weiner faces a pending felony "for similar behavior," Woodruff said. Court officials said it sounds like Richland County authorities are considering imposing a prison term and releasing Weiner after serving six to nine months.
One of Weiner's co-defendants, Alexander M. Hopkins, 21, of 26 Townsend St., Greenwich, was sentenced to five years of probation Jan. 10.
Hopkins received no additional jail time, but Conway ruled the defendant's probation officer could impose 51 days in the Huron County Jail -- the remainder of a 180-day sentence Hopkins earlier served -- at the officer's discretion. Any further violations of his community control sanctions could result in a three-year prison term.
Hopkins, in late November, pleaded guilty to being the look-out during two Aug. 10 incidents in New London. He was convicted of one count of burglary and two charges of breaking and entering.
William R. Barnett Jr., 21, of Shelby, has a trial scheduled for next Tuesday. He is charged with three counts of burglary, five charges of breaking and entering and an additional count of theft of a credit card.
The three suspects were indicted on multiple felonies in connection with 300 vehicle and 150 building break-ins.
Authorities estimate the three suspects stole about $10,000 worth of items, including GPS units, cash, cameras, watches, compact discs, DVDs, iPods, MP3 players, extension cords and tools from attached and unattached garages. Deputies recovered most, but not all, of the items. The break-ins happened in New London, Greenwich and Plymouth, whose police officers assisted deputies in the investigation.