Teen put on probation in connection with thefts
A Rochester teenager who is accused of stealing jewelry and cash from a store and who is linked to a string of car thefts has been put on probation for 18 months and ordered to pay restitution and do community work service.
Judge Robert Birnbaum sentenced Erik Vargas, 17, of 801 First St. S.W., No. B, on Tuesday, on felony charges of first-degree damage to property, financial transaction card fraud, third-degree burglary and receiving stolen property. All of the sentences run concurrently.
Birnbaum ordered Vargas to do 75 hours of community work service, pay restitution of $1,724, complete required programming, write letters of apology to the victims, stay away from LaPoblana Store and complete the Youth Night Campus program. He will be on probation until Sept. 16, 2011.
Vargas was charged in January with several felonies after being linked to a string of car thefts last summer in several Rochester locations, including the Rochester Area Family Y parking lot, Mayo Clinic employee parking lots, and church, motel, hotel and movie theater parking lots.
The teen's house was searched, and several stolen items were recovered, authorities say. The complaint says that Vargas admitted breaking into about 20 cars and trying to use credit and debit cards for purchases.
In September, he was charged with breaking into the LaPoblana jewelry store at 1121 Civic Center Drive N.W. and taking jewelry and cash after his mother wouldn't buy him what he wanted.