A former San Carlos PetSmart employee and her boyfriend were sentenced to prison time Thursday morning for a series of break-ins at homes they learned were vacant when the residents’ pets were boarded at PetSmart, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. San Jose residents Ashley Lynn Kirk, 24, and Juan Carlos Ortega-Ramos, 25, pleaded no contest to 11 counts of residential burglary in exchange for no more than 20 years in prison for Ortega-Ramos and no more than 10 years in prison for Kirk, according to the district attorney’s office.
Today Judge Susan Etezadi sentenced Kirk to 10 years in state prison and Ortega-Ramos to 19 years in state prison. They were first arrested in September 2013 for the burglaries but were released without charges until a warrant was issued for their arrest in January, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. They were both arrested in Discovery Bay on Jan. 13.
Kirk would learn of vacant homes when pets were checked in at the PetSmart at 1225 Industrial Road and the couple would then ransack the homes, stealing electronics, jewelry and even a silver Porsche 991 from one Portola Valley home. In addition to the burglary charges, Ortega-Ramos also pleaded no contest to a gang enhancement for being a Norteno gang member, prosecutors said.
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