4 years in prison for serial burglar | TahoeDailyTribune.com

4 years in prison for serial burglar

William Ferchland

Robert Kelly, who burglarized as many as 20 businesses in South Lake Tahoe to help fund his fondness for drugs, was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday.

Kelly pleaded to four counts of commercial burglary last month and was ordered to pay $8,718.58 in restitution fees to the various businesses that were hit.

El Dorado County Public Defender Rick Meyer and his 26-year-old client toyed with the idea of Kelly being evaluated by a doctor to possibly send him to California Rehabilitation Center.

The evaluation would have centered on whether Kelly was addicted to drugs or was headed in that direction.The rehabilitation center, part of the state’s prison system, attempts to treat substance abusers. But after consideration, Kelly discarded the idea of serving time in the rehabilitation center.

Both he and El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow said they heard horror stories of the facility involving gangs and ineffectiveness of the rehabilitation.

During the course of the proceedings, Lasarow offered Kelly advice on rehabilitation by using one word.

“If you just keep saying the word ‘no,’ I think that’s the biggest solution to the problem,” Lasarow said.

Kelly’s alleged accomplice and girlfriend at the time, Shannan Smith, 22, is scheduled to be in court March 3. She is charged with four counts of commercial burglary.

The two were arrested in November, four months after the burglaries began, when police followed the two during a response to a call of a break-in at Ski Run Laundromat.

Kelly has been in custody at El Dorado County Jail since the arrest. Smith has since bailed out.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com

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