Tuesday, September 24, 2013
A man is behind bars, charged with a crime he's been convicted of nearly half a dozen times. Police say the arrest highlights a problem they see constantly, especially with burglaries.
If convicted, it would make the fifth burglary conviction for 50 year old Gaylen Faggitt.
Police say it's frustrating to keep putting the same people in jail for the same crime but the district attorney says because of state sentencing laws, there's only so much time burglars can get.
Whenever they're called out to investigate a burglary, police say there's a reason they start their search for a suspect with people they've arrested before.
"Property crimes tend to be something where we see repeat offenders. If they've gotten particularly good at burglarizing a home or business, they tend to go back to that because it's what they know how to do,” Lt. Doug Nolte with the Wichita Police Department said.
Case in point: a business in the 200 block of west 47th street was recently burglarized. On September 18th, police arrested 50 year old Galen Faggitt.
"We have contacted this individual before and he has been arrested before burglary,” Lt. Nolte said.
He hasn't just been arrested. Prison records show Gaylen has been in and out of prison for nearly two decades for committing the same crime.
He was convicted of burglary in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2006. He was released from parole in 2010. Now in 2013 he's been charged with burglary again.
We spoke with Sedgwick county district attorney Marc Bennet, he can't comment on this case specifically because it hasn't gone to trial, but he says the state of Kansas has rules that limit the maximum sentences for different crimes based on their severity. So as long as someone serves their time, they can be given the same exact sentence even if they get arrested for the same crime again.
"If you're victimized and you know that the person that's victimized you has been arrested and or convicted of the crime and is back out doing it it's very frustrating to you as a victim. It's very frustrating to us in law enforcement to have the same people doing the same things,” Lt. Nolte said.
According to jail records, Gaylen Faggitt is also being held on assault and drug charges. Again, he district attorney can't talk about this case, but the he did tell us he is trying to bundle cases together against repeat offenders in general so the sentences can be more severe.