Man Sentenced for Pawning Items Taken During JCC Car Break-Ins

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Christian Bearisto (Courtesy James City County Police)
Christian Bearisto (Courtesy James City County Police)

One of the men accused of involvement in a series of car break-ins affecting more than 100 vehicles around James City County last year was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

A judge suspended all but one year of that sentence because of the relatively young age of the convict, 20-year-old Christian Bearisto.

Bearisto pleaded guilty in March to pawning some of the items given to him by David Hartman, Aaron Scott Lee, Austin Peterson and Terrence Terrell White, who stole from more than 100 cars in August and September.

Bearisto’s criminal record includes several drug charges, grand larceny and burglary charges from before he turned 18. His attorney, Gordon Klugh, said Bearisto was serving time while the thefts were occurring and was not part of the actual thievery.

Court documents show Bearisto pawned a class ring and two silver bracelets valued at a total of $1,250 at two pawn shops in September.

Other items stolen by the group — whose members have all pleaded guilty or no contest to various theft-related charges — include jewelry, a watch, cash, a gun and a camera. The items were stolen from vehicles in the neighborhoods of Scott’s Pond, Kingsmill, St. George’s Hundred, Stonehouse, Greensprings West, Windsor Forest, Williamsburg West, Settler’s Mill, Great Woods, Wellington, Fenwick Hills and Graylin Woods.

Klugh said his client admitted to the crime, was cooperative with law enforcement and prosecutors and was making progress towards bettering himself but was “still a child.”

“It’s difficult to snap your fingers and just immediately pull yourself away from all that,” he said, referring to Bearisto’s multiple juvenile convictions and his felony conviction of receiving stolen property with intent to sell it from pawning the items.

Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Judge Michael McGinty expressed concern about Bearisto’s prior record and the drugs he ingested in the past, which Klugh said included marijuana, cocaine, heroin and opiates.

“Incarceration is one thing, but your health is another matter,” McGinty said. “You’re fortunate to be here.”

McGinty has allowed Bearisto to serve his time at night while he works for a landscaping company during the day.

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