Jamestown man sentenced for string of burglaries

A Jamestown, N.Y. man is headed to state prison for a string of burglaries that took place in northern Warren County in 2015.

Eric Lewis, 30, Jamestown, was sentenced on Friday by President Judge Maureen Skerda.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a resident reported a burglary on October 22, 2015 while another neighbor saw a vehicle “and thought it was suspicious enough to get the last four digits of the plate.”

On November 2, 2015 state police received a report of that vehicle traveling on SR 957 and stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation.

“The driver identified himself as William Lewis, however he did not possess a valid driver’s license,” police allege in the affidavit.

William Lewis is Eric Lewis’ father.

Police interviewed William Lewis – since sentenced to 10-20 years in state prison for his involvement – at the state police barracks and he “admitted that he and his son had committed four or five burglaries in the Sugar Grove, Pa. area in the last couple weeks” – on October 21, 2015 at 2209 Rt. 957, on October 22, 2015 at 891 Townline Road, on October 26, 2015 at 4114 Old State Road, on October 29, 2015 at 1900 Cider Mill Hill Road and on November 2, 2015 at 7545 Old State Road.

While police were interviewing William Lewis, a report was received of the burglary on Old State Road, a residence that is a “short distance from where William Lewis was stopped for the traffic violation. William Lewis told (police) that he had dropped his son Eric Lewis off at that residence and was waiting for a call/text to return and pick him up.”

William Lewis “agreed to show (police) all of the residences that he and his son had burglarized.”

Police took him to those locations “and videotaped him pointing out the locations.” He also “led (police) to a safe that they had dumped on Old Route 62 belonging” to one of the victims.

State police said they worked in conjunction with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, “who located and interviewed Eric Lewis. (Police were) advised by (a Sheriff’s Deputy in New York) that Eric Lewis had written a four page confession admitting to the burglaries occurring in Pennsylvania and New York.”

Lewis’ attorney, Bernard T. Hessley, said that these were “crime fueled by addiction to opioids” and “more upsetting” because he committed them with his father.

He said that showed evidence of Lewis not having sufficient guidance as a child but Skerda questioned that notion, noting Lewis is 30 and not 18.

Hessley said that Lewis has reviewed the victim impact letters and told Hessley that they “hit home.”

He asked for a sentence that fits the crimes but also allows Lewis an opportunity to get out of prison as a “relatively younger person.”

District Attorney Rob Greene asked for a no contact order at each of the five dockets that Lewis was sentenced to.

Citing a letter Lewis wrote, Greene said that the letter details how sorry he is and how he wants to be with his kids and be a family man.

“This is not his first go around with burglary,” Greene said.

He spoke of how Lewis’ conduct took the piece of mind and personal items of the victims.

He said Lewis “feels bad” but “feels more badly that he got caught.”

Skerda reiterated the loss of the victims.

“The loss is irreplaceable and the fact you did it with your father,” Skerda said. “You didn’t think before you acted.”

Lewis said he takes responsibility for what he’s done.

“My actions were poor,” he said.

Noting he has been incarcerated since 2015, Lewis said that it “took prison to make me grow up and realize what I did was wrong.”

Skerda said the “court has no sympathy for people who break into people’s homes.”

He was then sentenced to five separate dockets by Skerda.

¯ Eight to 16 months incarceration in state prison, $5,329.63 in restitution, $3,175 in fines and fees and submission of a DNA sample on a count of conspiracy (burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present). He is boot camp and recidivism risk reduction incentive eligible. On a count of theft by unlawful taking, he was sentenced to 1-24 months in state prison.

¯ Eight to 16 months incarceration in state prison, $1,680.26 in restitution, $3,175 in fines and submission of a DNA sample on a count of conspiracy (burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present) and 1-21 months incarceration in state prison on a count of theft by unlawful taking.

¯ Six to 30 months incarceration in state prison, $3,175 in fines and fees and submission of a DNA sample on a count of conspiracy (burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present) and two years probation on a count of theft by unlawful taking.

¯ Eight to 16 months incarceration in state prison, $150 in restitution, $1,025 in fines and fees, to have no contact with the victim or trespass on their property and submission of a DNA sample on a count of conspiracy (burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present) and two years probation on a count of theft by unlawful taking.

¯ Eight to 36 months incarceration in state prison, $3,175 in fines and fees, $7,922.39 in restitution, a no contact/no trespass order and submission of a DNA sample on a count of conspiracy (burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present). He was given credit for 214 days time served. He was sentenced to five months to 40 months incarceration on a count of theft by unlawful taking.

Skerda said that Lewis is joint and severally liable with his father for payment of the restitution.

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