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Mail thief to get 24 years in prison

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By Nicole Queen

Mail pilferer Michael John Pantera pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary on Dec. 19.

In November 2007, Pantera, 27, and his girlfriend, Sophie Rose Shafer of Pine, 19, drove through neighborhoods in Jefferson and Park counties stealing mail from mailboxes, searching for holiday gift cards and cash.

Pantera is scheduled to be sentenced March 27 to 24 years in prison. He was convicted in the November 2007 mailbox thefts and also as a habitual criminal, according to a news release from the Jefferson County district attorney.

Pantera and Shafer burglarized 17 homes and businesses, and each burglary count is a class 4 felony. On Sept. 29 2008, Shafer was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to burglary.