Berlin Thief Must Pay $18K To Victims

SNOW HILL — A Berlin woman, one half of an alleged father-daughter crime spree in the community last spring, pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to eight years in jail with all but 18 months suspended.
Through much of last April and May, Berlin Police received several reports of residential burglaries in different areas of the town, each with similar circumstances. The rash of residential burglaries, including three in the span of eight days, had local residents on edge through much of the spring until authorities were able to develop a pair of suspects.
Based on the investigation, local law enforcement in mid-May obtained a search-and-seizure warrant for a residence on Baker Street and, based on evidence collected during the raid, arrested James Hughlett, 61, of Berlin. According to a source, a search of Hughlett’s home revealed property belonging to the burglary victims.
Through further investigation, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for James Hughlett’s daughter, Kate Hughlett, 23, also of Berlin. Kate Hughlett was arrested the day after her father was taken into custody. Kate Hughlett was charged with 21 total counts including seven counts of first-degree burglary and multiple counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and theft. She was also charged with two counts of possession of paraphernalia.
The investigation revealed Kate Hughlett would knock on doors at residences in Berlin, often during the day, many of which were left unlocked in the otherwise quiet town. Once she was certain the homes were unoccupied, she would enter and take small pieces of jewelry or other items of value that victims did not immediately realize were gone.
Last week, Kate Hughlett pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to eight years in jail. All but 18 months of the sentence was then suspended and Hughlett was placed on probation for five years. Kate Hughlett was also ordered to pay over $18,000 in restitution to eight different victims. The largest amount of restitution ordered for a single victim was $4,720, while the smallest was $350.
Meanwhile, James Hughlett has been charged with 19 total counts including six for first-degree burglary and multiple counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and theft. James Hughlett is scheduled to appear for trial on Oct. 7.

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