One of two Arizona men who flew to the Bay Area in 2012 with the purpose of burglarizing homes was sentenced Friday, Aug. 7, in a San Mateo County courtroom.
A judge sentenced 49-year-old Michael Wallen, of Glendale, Arizona, to three years in state prison. Mr. Wallen, however, has already served most of his sentence and could be released from custody as soon as Aug. 10, according to the district attorney.
On July 13, Mr. Wallen pleaded no contest to residential burglary, felony grand theft and felony possession of stolen property. He had two prior convictions in Arizona for a home burglary and a vehicle burglary, prosecutors said.
The DA's office gave this account of what happened:
On May 28, 2012, Mr. Wallen and 52-year-old Bradley Sullivan, also from Glendale, stole between $30,000 and $50,000 in jewelry from a Woodside home.
The two men flew from Glendale to the Bay Area for two days on a travel package arranged by Mr. Sullivan's girlfriend. They rented a car and drove to Woodside, where they were captured on surveillance footage in front of the burglarized home.
The video shows one man going inside while the other stays behind to cover up the car's license plate -- but not before it was caught on camera.
It took a year before investigators connected them to the burglary and searched their Arizona home. When they did, investigators found some of the jewelry taken during the burglary, according to prosecutors.
On July 21, a jury found Mr. Sullivan guilty of residential burglary, grand theft and a prior strike conviction. Mr. Sullivan is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 10.