BRENTWOOD — A Derry woman pleaded guilty to burglarizing 13 homes around Rockingham County, stealing jewelry and other valuables that she pawned before police caught her in January.
Bonnie Usher, 46, was sentenced on Monday to four to 10 years in state prison for the series of brazen residential burglaries that happened between Sept. 27 and Jan 15. The burglaries were in Derry, Londonderry and Auburn.
“Off the top of my head, I can’t remember somebody who has committed that many burglaries over that period of time,” Judge N. William Delker said, while questioning whether the prison sentence crafted by prosecutors was harsh enough.
Usher confessed to all of the burglaries, including one not previously known to police, according to Assistant County Attorney Jennifer Haggar. Usher also pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted burglary, receiving stolen property and theft by unauthorized taking.
Prosecutors say Usher took jewelry from the homes and sold some of it to a Derry pawn shop and attempted to sell other jewelry to a local jewelry store in early January.
Usher received an additional 10- to 20-year sentence that was suspended as long as she remains on good behavior.
After serving three years behind bars, she will be allowed to petition for work release and electronic home confinement. Usher will have to remain trouble-free and comply with all the terms of her sentence, which includes seeking substance abuse treatment.
No victims from the burglaries appeared in Rockingham County Superior Court for Usher’s hearing. But Delker asked Usher if she had read all of the statements that victims had written about how they were affected. Usher said she did.
“I want to make sure you understand that these types of cases are not victimless crimes,” Delker told Usher. “They affect people in deep and lasting ways.”
The burglary spree ended on Jan. 15 when Derry police pulled over her car while she was driving on South Main Street. Derry detectives had watched her enter a home and exit a few minutes later with property from the house. Police checked on the home and found that it had been broken into.
Usher began serving her prison sentence on Monday, but may have to return to court to find out how much she will owe her victims.
Public defender Jim Reis said his client is more than willing to pay all restitution in the case, but questioned one homeowner’s claim that they lost $37,000 in jewelry.
Haggar said the homeowner was paid $10,000 from an insurance company, but never recovered the jewelry. “They are still missing,” she said. Delker said a hearing on the matter could be held at a later date.