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Ravenna -- A Streetsboro man charged with multiple burglaries in Portage and Geauga counties last year was sentenced recently to six years in prison for two he committed late last year.
Shawn E. Wegener, 24, was sentenced by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman after admitting in May to committing two burglaries in Aurora and Kent between September and December 2015.
He pleaded guilty in May to two counts of burglary. Pittman ordered a three-year prison sentence on each of the two second-degree felony charges to run consecutive to each other for a total of six years.
She gave Wegener credit for 123 days served in the Portage County Jail awaiting trial, fined him $300, ordered him to pay $535 in court costs and ordered him to have no contact with the people he victimized.
Defense attorney Doug Kehres said he has known Wegener for years, and that the boy who played sports with Kehres' children became a man who "got involved with heroin and his life spiraled out of control."
Wegener made "full confessions" to his crimes, Kehres said. The defendant apologized to the court and the victims. He told Pittman heroin "ruined my life. Going to jail saved my life. I was going to die."
While in jail, Wegener said he started attending 12-step meetings, going to church and reading a lot of books and went from 175 to 220 pounds.
Wegener and his co-defendant and brother-in-law, Joseph D. Ulatowski, 43, owe a total of $750 in restitution to their victims.
KEHRES SAID his client was "somewhat influenced" by Ulatowski, and "followed his lead."
The men were identified as suspects in multiple burglaries last year in Aurora, Kent and Bainbridge Township. Starting in September 2015, Aurora police and other agencies began investigating similar incidents in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
Ulatowski broke into a residence on Parker Road in Aurora on Sept. 30, 2015, while a resident was home sleeping, according to police and court records.
He also broke into a residence on North Chillicothe Road on Dec. 2, 2015, stole jewelry from the homeowner and gave some of it to Wegener, according to police and court records.
Wegener broke into another residence on North Chillicothe Road in Aurora on Dec. 7, 2015, stealing a safe, watches and jewelry, which he then gave to Ulatowski, Aurora police said.
Aurora, Bainbridge and Twinsburg police departments and Portage and Geauga county sheriff's offices set up surveillance, and identified "hundreds" items stolen during the burglaries.
Twinsburg police detained and held Ulatowski and Wegener after a traffic stop on Interstate 480 on Dec. 8, 2015.
Ulatowski was sentenced in June to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary.
Wegener still faces trial on 19 felony charges in Geauga County Common Pleas Court, according to court records there.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4157