ROCKLAND, Maine — Citing the man’s long history of victimizing property owners and stealing not just their possessions but their peace of mind, a judge Wednesday sentenced a 47-year-old St. George man to nine years in prison for a string of residential burglaries in Penobscot and Knox counties.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm sentenced Ricky E. Block Wednesday to 19 years with all but nine years suspended. Block also was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution and to serve three years probation upon his release.
The offenses occurred from August through December last year in Old Town, Hampden, Milford, Rockland, Thomaston, Warren, St. George, South Thomaston and Cushing.
“I hope you have a better understanding of the real damage you have done. The home should be a safe zone. You invaded that sense of security,” Hjelm said as he imposed the sentence.
One woman whose home was broken into said that some of the items taken by Block included her engagement ring, her wedding band, and gifts that she gave her husband in October 2011. Those were gifts from his final birthday because he died four months later from injuries suffered in a car crash.
The woman also pointed out that two handguns had been stolen and she questioned whether Block would have used them on her or one of her family members if they had interrupted his burglary.
Letters from four other victims were read by the district attorney’s victim witness advocate. Two of those victims said they installed security systems after the break-ins because of the fear that has been instilled in them. One woman said her teenage daughter no longer felt safe staying in the home by herself after the burglary.
A letter from another woman whose home was broken into said she went around using Lysol cleaner everywhere because she felt it had become dirty by knowing someone had come in and gone through all their belongings.
Block spoke briefly before he was sentenced.
“There’s really nothing I can say to alleviate the people’s hate for me,” Block said. “I apologize but I understand that is weak coming from me now.”
Attorney Roger Hurley said Block has an addiction to alcohol.
Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody said the sentence was justified because of the number of offenses and because of Block’s extensive criminal history that includes burglaries and thefts going back to 1993. Block was sentenced in 2004 to eight years behind bars for a series of burglaries.