A Rotterdam woman accused with her husband of a series of break-ins earlier this year pleaded guilty Monday to two of them.
Amy Beblowski, 35, of Myrtle Avenue, admitted to burglaries on Clyde Avenue in Rotterdam in March 2012 and 13th Street in Schenectady in November 2011. She had been accused in a total of seven break-ins in a spree her attorney said was committed to support a drug habit.
She is expected to get eight years in state prison at her January sentencing.
Her husband, Timothy Beblowski, also 35, was accused in the seven break-ins his wife was connected to, as well as two more.
The husband is to be in court this morning to consider a similar plea offer, according to prosecutor Michael DeMatteo. Timothy Beblowski’s attorney, Mark Juda, said Monday his client intends to take it.
In court Monday, Amy Beblowski pleaded guilty before Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago to two counts of second-degree burglary, a felony.
She expressed interest in court in getting into the Schenectady County Drug Court program, indicating she is addicted to heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs.
Drago, who oversees the drug court, responded that those accused of violent crimes generally are not admitted to the program. A residential burglary is considered a violent crime, even if no one is injured.
Afterward, Amy Beblowski’s attorney, Michael Mansion, outlined her addiction, saying it could be traced back to complications from a pregnancy. After being cut off from the painkillers she believed she needed, she turned to street drugs, he said.
Soon, both she and her husband were addicted. They ran through their life savings, then turned to burglary, Mansion said. Their two children are now staying with family.
Mansion said Amy Beblowski had never before even been convicted of jaywalking. He also said he is not aware of her ever seeking treatment.
“Drugs certainly are not a victimless crime,” Mansion said. “Here’s a woman who had a nice job, her and her husband owned a home, they were raising two children, and they lost it all because of this stuff. It’s a shame.”
Her case had been set to go to trial next month. She faced up to 15 years in state prison had she been convicted of just one of the burglaries, and the sentences for others could have run consecutively.
DeMatteo said the plea offers fit the case, taking into account the lack of criminal records, but also what they were accused of stealing. Some of the items taken, DeMatteo noted, weren’t replaceable, like jewelry.
Amy Beblowski agreed to more than $13,000 in restitution. If her husband takes his plea deal, he would be responsible for that money with her.
The Beblowskis were arrested in March after a Schalmont school bus driver spotted them on Ford Avenue. They appeared to be casing the area, and the driver called police. The driver was also aware of a string of recent burglaries in the area, authorities said then.
When officers caught up with them, they found stolen goods hidden inside grocery bags, with groceries masking the items at the bottom.
They were accused of breaking into homes, using a screwdriver to pry open back doors, in the neighborhood surrounding their Rotterdam home.
They then pawned the items they took at a shop at the Rotterdam Square Mall and used the proceeds to support their drug habit.
On Monday, during standard questioning while taking the plea, Amy Beblowski was asked if she is addicted to drugs or alcohol. After saying she wanted into drug court, she indicated she wasn’t addicted to drugs. After being given an opportunity by Drago to clarify her statement, she indicated she was not addicted at that moment.
The judge responded with a key message of drug court: that once a person is an addict, they’re always an addict. The question is whether the recovering addict can maintain sobriety.