Lewiston man pleads guilty in rash of Auburn car break-ins

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AUBURN — A Lewiston teenager charged with three dozen counts of theft and burglary stemming from a rash of car break-ins in October pleaded guilty Tuesday to some of those crimes.

Scott A. Britton, 19, of 197 Bartlett St., Lewiston, also pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court to stealing a necklace and ring from a woman’s bedroom in her home while he was awaiting trial in the car burglaries case.

Approving a plea agreement between the parties, a judge sentenced Britton to 30 months in prison, but suspended 22 months of that sentence. Justice MaryGay Kennedy also ordered Britton to spend two months on probation after his release from jail.

Britton pleaded guilty to felony burglary, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and violation of condition of release. He was sentenced to six months on each of the misdemeanor counts to be served at the same time as the felony.

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He also was ordered to pay up to $2,200 in restitution to the woman whose ring he stole. The necklace was recovered when Britton’s mother turned it over to authorities.

In connection with the car burglaries, Britton pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and two counts of burglary.

On the felony burglary charge, he was sentenced to eight months in jail. On the three misdemeanors, he was given a sentence of six months for each count.

All sentences will be served at the same time as the initial eight months in jail.

In one of the car burglaries, Britton stole nearly $1,800 worth of camera equipment from a woman’s car and $450 in cash from a man’s car.

He was ordered to pay a total of $2,180 in restitution to those victims along with his co-defendant in those crimes.

The car burglaries, committed across the Goff Hill neighborhood during October, focused on Broad and South Main streets, police said.

Britton’s accomplice, Albert Roy, 20, of 7 Chestnut St., Auburn, told police he estimated the two had broken into between 600 and 1,000 vehicles during that month.

Working together, one would serve as lookout while the other broke into the vehicle.

At Tuesday’s court hearing, Britton apologized for having committed all of the burglaries.

Kennedy asked him whether his substance abuse was the root of his problems.

He said it was.

While on probation, Britton will be barred from drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs. He’s subject to random searches and testing for both substances. He also will be required to complete substance abuse counseling and treatment.

Britton told Kennedy that he left school after eighth grade and is working on earning his GED.

A police detective went to Roy’s apartment where he said he found Roy and Britton sleeping, according to a sworn affidavit. The men spoke with the detective and admitted to breaking into vehicles in both Lewiston and Auburn.

According to the affidavit, Roy consented to a search of his bedroom. Police recovered three laptop computers, four iPods, an iPad, cameras, a skill saw, a Kindle, a police-issued bulletproof vest and other items.

Some items that weren’t recovered had been sold on the street and to pawn shops, Roy told police.

In an April letter to the Sun Journal from Androscoggin County Jail, Roy wrote a letter of apology to the people of the Twin Cities, blaming his actions on alcoholism.

He pleaded guilty in May to all 36 counts of theft and burglary stemming from the vehicle break-ins. He was sentenced, similarly to Britton, to 30 months in prison, with 21 months of that time suspended. He, like Britton, will spend two years on probation.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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