By BRIAN BOHNERT
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The wife of a Seneca County Sheriff’s Office deputy admitted this week to committing 12 burglaries over the course of three years.
Angela M. Best, 45, of Republic, was convicted of 12 counts of burglary, all second-degree felonies, and sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday in Seneca County Common Pleas Court.
According to court records, Best waived indictment and proceeded with a bill of information charging her with the crimes. Judge Michael Kelbley sentenced her to four years in prison on each count with the sentences set to be served concurrently.
Speaking to the Review Times Thursday, Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said Best is addicted to pain medication and stole from friends and neighbors to feed her habit.
“She identified people she knew were on prescription pain pills,” DeVine said. “She didn’t take jewelry or guns or anything else. The only thing she stole was pain pills.”
One of the burglaries was committed at the home of a fellow deputy and another took place at the residence of a different deputy’s daughter. DeVine said some of the victims were home when Best committed the crimes, but most were not.
“They were people she knew,” he said. “Friends, neighbors.”
The sister of Best’s final victim witnessed her stealing pills from a cabinet inside a home on Aug. 1, hiding until she was gone. The owner of the home had been in a car accident back in May and had been prescribed pain medication.
DeVine said Best’s husband, Deputy Richard Best, knew nothing of his wife’s criminal activity.
“She needs a timeout to try and get some control over this addiction,” he said. “It is just really sad.”
Best was granted credit for two days served in jail and will be eligible for judicial release after six months in prison.
The Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to remain silent about judicial release after Best serves one year in prison, under the condition she complete a correction program at a community-based facility, according to court records.