Burglar gets 15 years in prison

Quick thinking by neighbors helped put one burglar behind bars for more than a decade.

Clemmie P. Sparks, 28, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of burglary and one count of criminal trespass for two separate crimes late last summer. Sparks pleaded cold, or without an agreement between prosecution and defense, though Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters chose to follow the state's wishes and sentenced him to 15 years, followed by 5 years' probation.

"It was a good sentence," said Assistant District Attorney Sadhana Dailey. We're glad the judge accepted our recommendation."

The first burglary happened Aug. 1 on Staunton Drive, where Sparks made away with some $800 in jewelry, Dailey said. On Sept. 19, he broke into a Park Drive home, making off with about $18,000 in jewelry.

Shortly afterward, he was seen peering into an Overlook Drive home's window. That's when neighbors saw him and called police.

"And he had the jewelry from the Park Drive residence in his pocket," the prosecutor said.

Sparks was connected to the Staunton Drive burglary through fingerprints.

"It was good work by the neighbors calling police," Dailey said.