Burglar, already in jail, gets conviction for second crime

Burglar, already in jail, gets conviction for second crime

 

(March 21, 2014) A 33-year-old Dagsboro, Del., woman was sentenced March 6 to three years in prison for a burglary she committed in north Ocean City in October.

Michele Lee Smith was already in jail serving a sentence for a burglary she committed in GlenRiddle last spring.

In the GlenRiddle case, Smith burglarized a house where her sister was the owner’s cleaning lady. Smith had helped her clean the house and knew the key code combination to enter the house.

The owner noticed several pieces of jewelry and a pair of UGG boots missing in early April and contacted police. She estimated the value of the stolen items at $17,845.

The cleaning lady told police that Smith, her sister, had lost her job and had been caught stealing checks from her boyfriend.

Smith pawned numerous items of jewelry in March and early April. She pawned some of those items at a West Ocean City jewelry store. She also pawned jewelry in Millsboro, Del.

Smith was charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft from $10,000 to $100,000. In exchange for her guilty plea to first-degree theft in November, other charges against her were dropped. She was sentenced to five  years in prison, with all but 18 suspended.

In the case heard in Circuit Court in Snow Hill on March 6, Smith had burglarized a house on 142nd Street. The owner, who does not live there year round, noticed a broken window and various items not belonging to him scattered throughout the house. Among those items were letters, which led police to

Smith, who said she thought she had permission to stay there because she had been there before.

Smith’s defense attorney, Peter O’Neill, told the court that Smith and her husband were homeless and her sister suggested that all three of them stay at the north Ocean City residence.

Smith pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in prison, with all but one year suspended. The sentence will be served concurrently with the sentence she is serving in the GlenRiddle burglary.

After her release from incarceration, Smith will be on supervised probation for two years. In the north Ocean City case, she must make restitution of $523.05. In the GlenRiddle case, she was ordered to make restitution of $13,825 to an insurance company and restitution of $2,100 to the victim.

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