Man sentenced for stealing from cars


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By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Jeremy Adams is not going to prison for the money he stole and for the aggravation he caused several people by breaking into their cars and stealing their wallets and credit and debit cards.

He was sentenced Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to three years in prison because Judge Lou D’Apolito said he took memories as well as a sense of security from his victims that they cannot be safe in their own homes.

“Life is made of memories,” Judge D’Apolito said. “You stole their memories.”

Adams, 34, of Selkirk-Bush Road, Newton Falls, who has 42 entries in the county’s court computer system, apologized profusely for the harm he caused, and his case worker at Community Corrections Association told the judge Adams has been excelling in rehabilitation.

Judge D’Apolito said he understood that and praised Adams’ work in staying clean recently, but he said the fact the victims in the case spoke of having memories taken from them or feeling violated or mistrustful in their own homes made him decide prison time is necessary.

Adams can apply for early release in six months. The judge said he will study a request for early release. If Adams is truly a changed man, then the judge said he wants to make sure he gets the help he needs to break his drug addictions, so he will return to CCA after his release from prison and also be placed on five years’ probation.

He pleaded guilty to a total of eight felony counts in three separate cases where he was charged with receiving stolen property, forgery and misuse of credit cards.

“I don’t think I’ve ever, in my career, had a defendant take as many drugs as you,” Judge D’Apolito said.

One couple wrote in a statement to the court they had just returned from a vacation when the wallet in their car was stolen. Besides credit cards, there was also $400 cash that was given to them by guests at their wedding that was taken.

Robert Bowman told the judge he lost two days’ wages trying to cancel his cards after he found out his wallet was stolen from his car. He is still afraid his identity might be stolen, and his daughters have lost a sense of security in their home, Bowman said.

Cynthia Vega said she was scared immediately after her car was broken into and her wallet taken, and her children were scared as well.

Vega also lost a memento she kept of one her children when Adams stole her wallet, she said.

Adams turned to face Bowman and Vega and said he was very sorry.

“I wasn’t thinking,” he said. “I was in a dark place at the time.”

He said the birth of a daughter changed his outlook in life, and he wants to get sober for her sake.

Judge D’Apolito said Adams’ victims are just regular people who want to feel safe in their own home, and he took that away from them.

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