Couple sentenced to 12 months in prison for six-month string of burglaries

A San Juan Island couple who carried out one of the more prolific burglary sprees in recent memory will spend the next 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to a combined eight felonies.

On March 12, Shawna Ann Mustain, 50, and Jeffrey Glenn Pinick, 48, pleaded guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to two counts of residential burglary, one count of second-degree burglary and to one count of possession of a stolen firearm, all Class B felonies. They were each sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,300 in fines and fees.

Both will remain in Island County Jail pending a restitution hearing that begins March 25.

According to court documents, Mustain and Pinick broke into 10 homes and seven storage buildings as part of a six-month string of burglaries that began in July. The couple reportedly used money gained by fencing, pawning or selling big-ticket items, such as computers, high-end electronics and jewelry, to pay for drugs. They used some of the stolen items to furnish their home as well.

On the eve of their arrest, there were so many stolen tools in the couple's possession — machine and hand-powered — that an entire bedroom at Pinick's Meadows Lane home had been converted into wall-to-wall storage in order to warehouse all the loot. A safe containing a dozen firearms and a large amount of ammunition were among items stolen from one of the homes.

While they may not be the most prolific the island has ever seen, Mustain and Pinick would rank among the busiest. The couple was the prime suspect in 16 separate burglaries and four mail thefts. According to Sheriff Bill Cumming, accounting for all the items which supposedly went missing has proven difficult because of the "sheer volume."

"It's not unknown for someone in this county to become a serial burglar," he said. "But this was one of the more serious."

The couple's burglary spree ended when they were apprehended on New Year's Eve while disembarking a ferry in Friday Harbor. Earlier that day, authorities, acting on information provided by a suspect in custody on an unrelated matter, obtained a search warrant and then found the cache of stolen belongings inside Pinick's home.

A Class B felony, residential burglary, the most serious of three felonies, carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000, or both. However, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 22-29 months.

Mustain and Pinick qualified for sentencing under the state's drug-offender sentencing alternative and each received a prison term that's below the state standard as a result. Both also received credit for the time served in jail since their arrest.

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