,WEST CHESTER -- A Phoenixville man was sentenced to state prison Monday for burglaries with a modern twist.
Bradlee Aaron Quay, 20, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of burglary, theft and related charges for s string of break-ins at upscale homes in East Pikeland, Schuylkill and Charlestown between February and September 2007.
He will serve three to eight years in state prison followed by a probationary term of 12 years as part of the negotiated plea accepted by Judge James P. MacElree II.
"You've created quite a mess for yourself at an early age," MacElree told Quay.
According to Assistant District Attorney Julie Potts, the prosecutor who negotiated the plea, Quay and two other area men would enter garages and break into cars parked inside, stealing items such as laptop computers, iPods and global positioning systems.
Quay then attempted to sell the stolen equipment by using the eBay account of a friend of a friend.
Police broke the theft ring after a victim from Yorktown Road in Charlestown saw his Garmin Nuvi GPS system offered for sale. He told police he learned the GPS's serial number matched his after he contact
ed the seller, who lived in Phoenixville.
State trooper Brandon Corry visited the home of the GPS unit's seller, who told Corry he had tried to sell the item for a friend, Gus Kraft.
Kraft later told police he had gotten the item from his son, Chris Kraft, who in turn confessed he had gotten the GPS unit and other items from Quay.
When police confronted Quay, he admitted to his burglaries and even took Corry on an auto tour of the victims' garages, Potts told MacElree.
Quay said little during his plea hearing.
His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stewart Paintin, said his client has agreed to cooperate with authorities should his co-defendants go to trial.
Two alleged accomplices, Ryan Sligh and Robert Smith, both of Phoenixville, are scheduled to enter guilty pleas this week.
The Krafts were sentenced to probation during earlier pleas.
Quay pleaded guilty to six separate thefts in the three townships.
As described by Potts, Quay was the ringleader of the break-in crew. Either alone or with Smith and Sligh, Quay would look for open garages and go inside to check on what could be taken from cars or the garage itself.
At times, if the trio found keys inside the cars, they would take the cars and later abandon them after looting them of whatever goods were inside.
Once, Quay took a Mercury Mountaineer from a home and abandoned it on the Valley Forge Christian College campus after driving it on a soccer field, causing $2,000 in damage.
Pots said she demanded a state prison sentence for Quay because of the number of victims in the case.
"There were people who were victimized by this across East Pikeland, Charlestown and Schuylkill," she said after the sentencing. "Anything less would have depreciated the seriousness of the crime."
Potts also cautioned new suburban homeowners who think they can leave their doors and cars unlocked because crime levels are relatively low.
"We do live in a great area, but lock your cars and keep your keys in your house," Potts said. "You are not immune to crime."
MacElree had some cautionary advice for Quay.
"When you get out of jail, you've got to change your life," he said before Quay was led from his courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. "Now, you're excused."