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Burglar with lengthy arrest record gets 12 years

Updated: 12/08/07 7:25 AM

Michael T. Czora, a much-arrested Grand Island resident, Friday was sentenced to 12 years in prison for burglary despite his plea to needing treatment rather than jail for his drug and behavioral problems.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang imposed the stiff prison term for Czora’s Oct. 16 jury conviction for a daylight house burglary attempt and his unrelated plea to using a stolen credit 13 months ago.

The jailed Czora, 34, told the court he has a drug problem and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Wolfgang, citing Czora’s lengthy criminal history, told him that even if he actually suffers from ADHD, she has never heard of anyone committing crimes due to that diagnosis.

Prosecutor Jaime C. Gallagher urged the judge to impose the near-maximum prison term for Czora, whose Playboy Bunny neck tattoo played a role in his conviction for a Jan. 26, 2006, attempted burglary while he was free on bail and awaiting sentencing for an earlier credit card theft.

After a weeklong trial two months ago, a jury found Czora guilty of second-degree burglary for his attempt to steal a power washer and an air compressor from a garage on East River Road on Grand Island.

During that trial, the housewife who foiled Czora’s theft identified him as the strangely tattooed man who somehow broke into her garage and was about to load a power washer and air compressor onto his truck as she returned home and confronted him.

The housewife told the jury she let him drive off after he said he worked for a local company and had mistakenly stopped at her house. Though he left her family’s power washer and compressor, the woman, still suspicious, called police, who arrested Czora on Stony Point Road 40 minutes later.

According to court records, Czora served a prison term from April 2006 to this Aug. 31 on a stolen-property charge linked to an earlier stolen credit card he used to purchase a lawn mower and tools at a Buffaloarea Sears store.

After the October jury trial, Czora pleaded guilty to a grand larceny charge for using a credit card he had stolen during another incident at a Kenmore convenience store in November 2006, the prosecutor said.

Eight years ago, Czora pleaded guilty to an attempted sexual misconduct charge involving a North Buffalo woman, 18.