Dustin Anderson already had two burglary convictions on his record when he entered two homes last year and left with more than $83,000 worth of jewelry.
Both homeowners, in Minier and just outside of Pekin, paid him for doing electrical work. A cousin also called on Anderson’s services in her Pekin home last September. She’ll never recover the jewelry and coins that police suspect he stole from her.
No relatives of Anderson, 26, attended the court hearing Thursday when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of burglary and two of felony theft.
Those counts don’t include his alleged jewelry heist from his cousin’s home in the 100 block of Thrush Street and yet another home burglary that prosectors agreed not to pursue in exchange for his guilty pleas.
Apparently in all of the cases, Anderson sold the stolen valuables to pawn shops in the Pekin and Peoria areas, according to court and police records.
While the pawn shops kept records that could generally identify the stolen necklaces, rings, bracelets and coins and Anderson as the man who brought them, the businesses didn’t keep the valuables long enough for their true owners to reclaim them.
Pawn shops often sell jewelry “for scrap” if they’re not reclaimed or otherwise sold, Pekin Police Public Information Officer Don Jolly said Friday.
As a result, the victims in the two heists that produced Anderson’s latest convictions will have to wait until he finishes his prison sentence, finds legal work and pays them the total of $83,100 in restitution that Tazewell County Circuit Judge Kevin Galley ordered.
Jolly said Anderson told investigators after his arrest in December that he had a “prescription medication issue.” Anderson did not tell Galley what he did with the profits from his pawn sales.
Anderson, of 1404 Bush St., apparently learned electrical work when he wasn’t committing burglaries. His record includes convictions for that crime in 2004 and 2007. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in the latter case but, having been recommended for a prison program to reduce terms for non-violent offenders, was free by 2010, according to court records.
Shortly after he worked as a contractor in a Minier home last July, its owner discovered $8,700 worth of jewelry missing.
Anderson worked at his cousin’s home in September, Jolly said. She didn’t realize until early January that the valuables she thought her daughter might have borrowed were actually stolen, he said.
In October, Anderson worked with “a number of contractors” in a woman’s home in the 700 block of Audubon Drive, court records state. The woman knew that “he’d been accused of stealing property before,” but not until early December did she check to find $74,400 worth of her jewelry missing.
Page 2 of 2 - Anderson, who was arrested a short time later, told police he had pawned other property but denied doing so with the items from the Audubon home.
With 70 days of credit for time served since his arrest and time off for good behavior, he can expect to serve less than five years of his term.
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