PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — A man charged with breaking into the home of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other homes around the Bay Area pleaded guilty Wednesday, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Kariem McFarlin, 35, of Alameda, was convicted Wednesday of eight counts of residential burglary and one of possessing stolen property, all of which are felonies, the district attorney’s office said.
According to the district attorney’s office, McFarlin had targeted homes in upscale neighborhoods that looked empty or under construction for more than a year between March 2011 and July 2012.
Along with his break-in at Jobs’ home, McFarlin targeted homes in Marin County, San Francisco County and Alameda County, from which he collected thousands of dollars worth of stolen items, including a solid silver bar, computers, jewelry, and furniture.
“It looks like he was targeting homes that were under construction so that he would not encounter the owners,” said Deputy District Attorney Thomas Flattery, who cautioned homeowners.
“An empty, unprotected house is like low-hanging fruit for thieves. Lock doors. Use alarms. Take precautions,” Flattery said.
Because the crimes occurred in multiple counties, the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) led by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office headed the investigation with the help of police from Sausalito, Tiburon, San Francisco and Alameda, the district attorney’s office said.
Law enforcement was led to McFarlin after he used one of the Jobs’ stolen devices to log onto the Internet on his home wireless network, Flattery said.
McFarlin was arrested on Aug. 2.
Flattery said that McFarlin had demonstrated little desire to fight the charges against him from the time of his arrest.
“I think once he was caught he wanted to take responsibility early on,” Flattery said.
McFarlin is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Jan. 17. He could face up to seven years and eight months in prison, the district attorney’s office said.
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