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Tue, Feb. 18

Serial burglar pleads guilty, could spend 17.5 years in prison

Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown

PRESCOTT - A woman arrested for multiple burglaries last June took a plea deal on Wednesday that could see her serve 17.5 years plus probation.

Michelle Brown, 34, was arrested after residents of Prescott Canyon Estates saw a woman casing their neighborhood and called the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. Detectives later linked her to a string of burglaries in Prescott, Chino Valley, the Yavapai College campus and other areas of Yavapai County, said Dwight D'Evelyn, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Chino Valley police arrested Brown on June 3 on charges of burglary after a resident of a home on Jackrabbit Trail found Brown inside her home, D'Evelyn said.

"She was checking for unlocked doors and stealing items from homes," D'Evelyn said. "If she saw a person working in their yard, she'd wait until they were out of sight, then slip in the house to steal a purse."

Detectives recovered a number of stolen items including a laptop, several ID cards, cash, a firearm and a large amount of jewelry, including a ring appraised at $20,000 by a jeweler in Prescott, D'Evelyn said.

Brown originally faced a laundry list of burglary, theft, ID theft, and drug charges and three separate cases.

She pleaded guilty instead to two counts of second-degree burglary, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia, and a single count of trafficking in stolen property.

Brown could be sentenced to up to 8.75 years in each of the burglary charges, but the plea agreement stipulates probation on the remaining charges.

Brown will appear for sentencing in February before Judge Celé Hancock.

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