Atwater man gets six-year sentence in string of robberies

10/29/2013 6:25 PM

10/30/2013 11:24 PM

An Atwater man received a six-year prison sentence Tuesday for a string of burglaries and thefts last year that included one home-invasion robbery.

Zeckaria Nedwicke, 20, was sentenced by Judge Marc A. Garcia in Merced County Superior Court. He pleaded no contest Sept. 17 to felony counts of home-invasion robbery, robbery, receiving stolen property and two counts of residential burglary.

Nedwicke’s sentence was part of a deal he made with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office to avoid a longer sentence, his attorney John Garcia said.

“He’s done a lot of reflecting while he’s been incarcerated and I have no doubt he’ll get it all together and make something positive of himself,” Garcia said. “He’ll still be a very young man when he gets out and he has the support of his family, which is really important to anybody trying to rehabilitate.”

Atwater police arrested Nedwicke on Oct. 10, 2012, in connection with numerous break-ins, including one in the 1300 block of Park Street in which police say he confronted an 81-year-old woman in her home.

Police said Nedwicke entered the woman’s home through a sliding glass door and demanded money. When the victim, whose name was not released, tried to press her medical-alert necklace for help, the robber ripped the device from her neck.

The woman fought back, police said, and hurled a dining room chair at the intruder, who snatched her purse and ran away. Authorities said her bag contained about $110 in cash, a checkbook and credit cards.

No injuries were reported.

Police apprehended Nedwicke while investigating another break-in in the 1200 block of Fifth Street. Investigators said the thief broke into the the home by climbing through a bathroom window while the residents, who were in their 70s, were out for their morning walk.

Nedwicke matched the description of the suspected thief and ran when police tried to confront him on the street. The foot chase ended when officers subdued Nedwicke with a stun gun, police said.

Officers found a brown ski mask and numerous stolen items in a backpack Nedwicke was wearing during the pursuit.

Mathew Serratto, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case against Nedwicke, said he was satisfied with the sentence.

“He’s a young kid without much of a (criminal) record,” Serratto said. “I think this is the right outcome.”

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