A Douglas County judge sentenced a 33-year-old Lawrence man to two years probation this week for his involvement in a rash of burglaries involving thousands of dollars worth of goods stolen from area storage units.
Judge Peggy Kittel sentenced Jacob P. Paine after he pleaded guilty to three felony burglary counts last month.
The charges stem from burglaries that occurred between May 6 to May 12 at an apartment complex in the 2100 block of Kasold, according to court documents. If Paine violates his probation, he must serve 26 months in prison.
Lawrence police arrested Paine, Travis Darrow, 34, of Lawrence, and Cori Nehrbass, 34, of Lawrence, on July 31 in connection with at least 20 local burglary cases dating to the beginning of the year. The arrests followed a three-month investigation by two Lawrence patrol officers.
Each of the three faced more than a dozen charges, but Paine’s charges were later reduced to three.
The amount of property involved in the alleged burglaries totaled about $77,000 in stolen furniture, electronics, sports memorabilia and other property, according to police. Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, told the Journal-World in August that the alleged thieves rented storage units of their own after the amount of stolen goods became difficult for them to manage.
Police investigating the case believed many of the thefts were in some way driven by methamphetamine. Paine initially faced one felony charge of methamphetamine possession before his charges were reduced.
Nehrbass and Darrow still face up to a dozen charges apiece and are each set for preliminary hearings in Douglas County District Court on Nov. 13. Nehrbass has a criminal record in Douglas County dating to 2006 that includes convictions for drug possession and burglary. Darrow spent time in Kansas prisons after being convicted of theft and drug possession last year.