DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A LaGrange man was sentenced to prison Thursday for 25 break-ins he committed from 2007 to 2009 that involved more than $100,000 in stolen items, including antique vehicles and all-terrain vehicles.
Jacey Lyford, 24, was sentenced to 2½ years with the Department of Corrections on each of the 25 counts, all of which will be served concurrently.
Lyford earlier had pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, theft and violation of conditions of release, but he later admitted to 24 additional counts of burglary during interviews with investigator Guy Dow of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
Standing Thursday before Justice William Anderson in Piscataquis County Superior Court, Lyford waived his right to have the additional burglary cases heard by a grand jury, and he entered 24 separate guilty pleas.
Lyford was sentenced to 90 days each on the theft and violation of conditions of release charges, which will be served concurrently with the burglary sentence. He now is incarcerated for a drug offense and for operating a motor vehicle after revocation of his license, and the new charges will be concurrent to that sentence.
Asked by Anderson why he chose to do the burglaries rather than get a job, Lyford said he had been unable to find a job. “I was drinking a lot and was on drugs,” Lyford said by way of explaining the burglaries.
Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy asked, and Anderson agreed, to make Lyford immune from any burglary charges that might be brought before the court by State Trooper Jarod Stedman. Stedman has some burglary cases under investigation that might involve Lyford. The immunity is for Lyford’s truthful admissions to the other charges, Almy said.
Chris Smith of Dover-Foxcroft. Lyford’s attorney, said the crimes never would have been solved without Lyford’s admission.
During his crime spree, Lyford broke into camps and homes in Sebec, Atkinson, Bowerbank, Katahdin Iron Works, Lakeview Plantation, T5 R9, Orneville, and in Charleston in Penobscot County.
Dow said outside the courtroom that he had encouraged one camp owner who had a break-in to install an outdoor surveillance camera. That camera later captured Lyford on a return visit, he said.
Taken from the properties in the 25 burglaries were several antique vehicles, including a motorcycle, a 1946 truck, and an International Scout, along with two all-terrain vehicles, copper wiring, antique furniture, batteries and alcohol, Dow said outside the courtroom.
The stolen items, some of which have been recovered, were valued at more than $100,000, but restitution was not sought by Almy nor was it imposed by Anderson. The judge said Lyford would be unable to pay for a couple of years while in prison. In addition, upon Lyford’s release, it would be difficult enough for him to cope without a big financial obligation, Anderson said.