INDIO (CNS) – A 28-year-old man who targeted elderly victims in carrying out a string of residential and commercial break-ins throughout the Coachella Valley was sentenced to more than 17 years in state prison, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Joseph Foster Ramey of Palm Desert pleaded guilty earlier this year to 22 burglary counts, along with identity theft, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property charges.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky handed down the 17-year, four-month sentence Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Ramey was arrested July 17, 2018, and was initially accused in a series of residential break-ins in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Thousand Palms, as well as eight storage unit burglaries at Storquest Self Storage in Palm Springs.
He was later charged with several other home burglaries, mostly in Palm Springs, during which he took jewelry, credit cards, checkbooks and other items, including a handgun recovered by police during the arrest of a family member who tossed the weapon onto a roof during an unrelated assault case, according to court papers.
Many of the burglaries targeted elderly victims, often when they were inside their homes and asleep, records show.
One of the burglary counts stemmed from a July 13, 2018 break-in at the Palm Springs Mobile Home Park, where he broke into a residence around 3:30 a.m., barricaded the 86-year-old resident inside her bedroom by blocking the door with furniture and made off with several items. Ramey’s fingerprints were discovered inside the mobile home, according to court papers.