AUBURN — A 51-year-old woman has been sentenced to prison for stealing merchandise from several retail stores in Cayuga County.
Early last year, Kimberly Switzer was charged with two felonies — third-degree burglary and first-degree falsifying business records — and six misdemeanors — five counts of petit larceny and one count of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
First, on Jan. 29, 2016, Switzer illegally entered Wal-Mart on Grant Avenue in Auburn and stole merchandise, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said. She was charged with petit larceny and third-degree burglary as Wal-Mart had issued Switzer a restrictive notice in 2009, prohibiting her from all Wal-Mart locations due to previous thefts.
Then, on March 5, 2016, Switzer was arrested for stealing more than $300 worth of merchandise from Bass Pro Shops in Aurelius. She was also found to be driving with a suspended license at the time, state police said.
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In October 2016, the district attorney allowed Switzer to plead guilty to one count of third-degree burglary in full satisfaction of the charges. And in exchange for her plea, Judge Thomas Leone agreed to sentence the defendant to six months in jail followed by five years probation.
Switzer was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 5, 2017. However, in December 2016, the Cayuga County Probation Department notified the court that she was not cooperating with probation. Then, Switzer failed to appear at sentencing, and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
On Sunday, March 5, 2017, Switzer was picked up on that warrant and charged with a new count of petit larceny, this time for allegedly shoplifting at a Kinney Drugs in Auburn. In addition, police discovered Switzer had been arrested and charged with another petit larceny in Wayne County in December.
"Ms. Switzer is a poor candidate for community supervision," Budelmann said Monday in Cayuga County Court, noting that Switzer has 11 prior misdemeanor convictions. "I don't think probation is the answer here."
Leone agreed, sentencing Switzer to two to six years in prison.
"I understand you've got some issues ... but you're a serial shoplifter," he said. "I can't in good conscience continue you on probation. ... Something needs to change."
Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr.