‘Career criminal’ gets up to 37 years for 27th conviction


A Lancaster man described as a “career criminal” will serve up to 37 years in prison for two home burglaries and for jumping from a moving car as police chased him on Fruitville Pike.

James Fleetro Thomas, 49, was ordered to serve 13 to 27 years in prison — consecutive to the 5-10 years he received last month for a probation violation related to the charges, the district attorney’s office said.

The sentence means Thomas will spend the next 18 to 37 years in prison.

Thomas was found guilty in March of burglary, reckless endangerment, and other charges. Prosecutors said it was his 27th criminal conviction in the past 30 years.

Police said in January 2017, he entered East Lampeter and Manheim Township homes through unlocked doors while the residents were asleep and then stole electronics, car keys, and money.

When police chased Thomas in a vehicle he stole in the Manheim Township burglary, he jumped out without putting the vehicle in park. A police officer caught up with the moving vehicle, on foot, before it struck any other vehicles.

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