Man sentenced to eight years after burglary spree

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PARIS — A 46-year-old Norway man was ordered to spend eight years behind bars after admitting to several burglaries that took place two years ago.

Wilson W. Arroyo, of 236 Norway Center Road, appeared in the Oxford County Superior Court on Wednesday for sentencing, several months after pleading guilty to burglary and theft charges. Justice John Nivison ordered him to serve the eight-year sentence and an additional 28 months on a probation revocation. Arroyo was also told he will have to pay restitution not to exceed the $22,347.26 value of the items stolen.

Last June, Arroyo pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and one count each of theft and receiving stolen property. The plea dismissed four counts of theft and three counts of criminal mischief. Arroyo also admitted to violating his probation from a 2005 case, where he pleaded guilty to burglarizing Alternate Services Inc. in Lewiston and stealing a safe and computer. He was ordered to serve 18 months of a four-year sentence with two years of probation in that matter.

In the more recent case, Arroyo was charged with breaking into residences in Albany Township, Durham, Hebron, Norway, and Waterford between August and October of 2008. Items including televisions, DVD players, and jewelry were taken from the houses. Detective Gary Hill of the Norway Police Department said Arroyo committed the burglaries while his girlfriend, 33-year-old Wednesday Westleigh of 47 Nichol St. in Paris, drove to the residences. Some of the stolen items were recovered.

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Hill said the couple ran a landscaping business, and may have stopped at the different houses to offer their services in order to find residences to break into. Westleigh pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of receiving stolen property last June. She was given a fully suspended two-year prison sentence with two years of probation, and ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution.

Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor said much of the property that was stolen had a sentimental value. He said Arroyo has prior convictions of robbery, drug trafficking and possession, burglary and theft. He recommended that Arroyo serve 10 years in prison.

“It is evident that he has not been able to conform with the requirements of probation,” O’Connor said.

Michael Adams, whose residence was burglarized, said the items stolen from his home included jewelry belonging to his wife, with whom he had two children before she passed away in 1994.

“I’m just so angry your honor that I just want justice,” he said.

Defense lawyer Henry Griffin said Arroyo committed the crimes out of panic after difficulties with his business, and that Arroyo intended to move to Massachusetts to work at a family business following his release. He said Arroyo has a history of finding employment, and that O’Connor’s proposed sentence was too harsh when compared against the sentences of Westleigh and others.

“It simply is not justified under the circumstances of this case,” he said.

Griffin recommended a suspended six to eight year sentence. Arroyo apologized to the victims of the burglaries and said he intended to seek counseling.

“Allow me the chance to prove that I can be an upstanding citizen in society,” he said.

O’Connor said he did not find Arroyo’s apology sincere, and said Arroyo had plenty of time to find counseling before the crimes or sentencing.

“He’s a career criminal,” said O’Connor. “He’s a thief.”

Arroyo has been incarcerated at the Androscoggin County Jail for 17 months.

mlangeveld@sunjournal.com

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