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Report finds Virginia strictest on punishing burglars

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Posted at 11:50 AM, Dec 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-18 11:50:52-05

Richmond, (WTVR) A new study finds what many criminals in the Commonwealth already know: Virginia is the strictest state when it comes to punishing burglars.

Behind the bars at Henrico county jail west, convicted burglar Matthew Sheets will serve seven more months.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” he said.

He said he doesn’t plan on coming back; after they “Gave me 45 years with 43 suspended.”

Sheets said life with a steady job took a back seat a couple years ago, and it burned him.

“I was on a lot of drugs, ran out of money. I mean I had a great job, got into drugs, after that became a burglar.”

Based on a Simplisafe Home Security Systems survey, Virginia tops the list not just because jail time is stiff, but so are the fines.

And don’t forget about the Castle Doctrine, which allows one to protect himself from deadly force in his or her own home.

Sheets was busted in early 2012 while feeding his felonious habit. He was arrested shortly after breaking into Coleman Brothers florists on Lakeside Avenue and ripping off the cash. It was one of seven break-ins he was charged with.

Read more about his case at WTVR.