Kessler pleads guilty in Gillette Woods larceniesPublished 5:51pm Thursday, July 26, 2012
A Hendersonville man was convicted in Polk County for breaking and entering and larceny cases in the Gillette Woods area of Tryon and Polk County that occurred in 2011.
John Jacob Kessler, who was 42 at the time of his March 2011 arrest pled guilty in Polk County District Court held Wednesday, July 18 to two counts of felony breaking and or entering, one count of felony larceny and one count of felony larceny after break/enter.
Judge Mack Brittain sentenced Kessler to two terms of eight to 10 months at the N.C. Department of Corrections with 142 days of pretrial time served credit, recommending the DART program if Kessler qualifies.
Kessler was arrested and charged in March 2011 for the breaking and entering of several properties in the Lake Lanier and Gillette Woods area with one property located in Tryon and two properties located in Polk County.
Area residents were credited by law enforcement in helping in the arrests in the crimes that occurred over a three-week period in 2011.
Kessler faced charges in both Greenville County, S.C. for the Lake Lanier break-ins and in Polk County for the Gillette Woods break-ins.
Officers at the time said several victims did not realize their homes had been broken into due to the crimes occurring during the day when no one was home and the homes left seemingly untouched.
Neighbors began talking and came up with a description of a suspicious vehicle that had been seen in the area with one victim knowing Kessler and once officers ran his name through pawn shops some of the stolen items were discovered.
Also arrested in the case was Karen Phillips Byrd, of Chesnee, S.C., who was 38 years old at the time of her 2011 arrest. Byrd pled guilty in March 2011 in Polk County District Court to two counts of possession of stolen goods and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
Byrd’s original charges included felony larceny, breaking and or entering and one count of possession of stolen goods.
Byrd was also recently arrested by the Columbus Police Department on charges of simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in a separate case.
She was released in Polk County on a $500 bond following her July 8 arrest and has not faced those charges yet in court.