A serial burglar will serve up to 30 years in state prison for a heroin-fueled spree of break-ins in four Lancaster County municipalities.
Christopher Wayda, 41, stole jewelry and other valuables from seven homes in 2014, hauling the items from most homes in the victims’ pillowcases.
Lancaster County Judge Margaret Miller recently ordered a sentence of 10 to 30 years, following Wayda’s guilty pleas to several felonies.
Wayda also was ordered to pay the victims about $50,000 in restitution that is still owed. Some of the stolen items were recovered and will be returned to the owners, according to Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson.
Anderson told Judge Miller that Wayda’s heroin addiction doesn’t excuse his behavior, noting Wayda had numerous prior opportunities to get clean and not commit crimes.
Judge Miller and Anderson said in court that Wayda took far more than material belongings from the victims; he stole their sense of security in their own homes.
In many cases he kicked in doors, targeting homes in East Hempfield, Manheim and Manor townships and East Petersburg.
One occupant caught Wayda in the act and provided police with a description of the intruder and his pickup truck.
Wayda formerly lived with his ex-wife in Manor Township and targeted her home during the spree. He recently lived in Toms River, N.J.
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