The main suspect in a burglary ring that was responsible for a series of daytime break-ins last year in the Southtowns was sentenced Monday to six years in prison after the victims told the judge they no longer feel safe in their homes.
State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang imposed the prison term on Sean Guthrie, 21, of East Lovejoy Street.
Guthrie pleaded guilty last month to all of the criminal charges he faced – four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of fourth-degree conspiracy and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
He admitted breaking into four homes last May and June in Orchard Park, Boston, Concord and Holland as part of a burglary ring, whose members all are residents of Buffalo’s Lovejoy neighborhood.
He also admitted planning with the other suspects to break into homes June 13 in Wales and Marilla and telling his girlfriend to hide an autographed football taken in one of the burglaries.
Three of the victims told the judge that the burglars took heirloom jewelry that had strong sentimental value for their families. Prosecutors said the jewelry was never recovered.
The victims also said they now check their doors when they leave home and when they return.
The burglary ring suspects drove to secluded homes during the day, knocked on doors and kicked them in when no one answered, said Assistant District Attorney Paul E. Bonanno. They then stole items and sold them at pawnshops, Bonanno said.
Guthrie had faced up to 15 years in prison. The judge sentenced him to six years in prison on each of the burgarly counts and 1 1/3 to 4 years on the conspiracy and tampering counts. She ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
He also faces charges in two burglaries in Wyoming County.
Guthrie and three other suspects were arrested June 13 at a store on Route 20A in Marilla, shortly after a woman alerted the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to their suspicious behavior.
The three others – Joseph Harden, 19, of North Ogden Street; Jeremy Agosto, 22, of Greene Street; and Ryan Zaskowski, 17, of Davey Street – have pleaded guilty. Agosto was sentenced last month to six months in jail followed by five years’ probation. The two others await sentencing.
A fifth suspect, Daniel Lauber, 22, of Gold Street, was arrested Jan. 13 on a warrant issued after he was indicted in December. He pleaded guilty last month and awaits sentencing.