ITHACA, N.Y. – A man from Steuben County pleaded guilty to six charges in Tompkins County Court on Thursday afternoon after his arrest earlier this year for multiple thefts at Cornell University.
Richard Huyler, 39, was arrested with co-defendant April Mace, 31, by Cornell Police after multiple thefts at Cornell were reported on March 16 and 17. Surveillance videos at the university caught the duo stealing several unattended backpacks from campus libraries.
Police say between computers, bank cards, cash, electronics and other valuable items, the stolen property amounted to over $12,000. Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski, the prosecutor for the case, said the majority of the property has since been returned or has been recovered and will eventually be returned to the owners.
Initial police reports stated over 100 items had been stolen. Mace and Huyler were later arrested at The Hotel Ithaca after a stolen debit card linked police to the pair, who allegedly used the card to stay in a $336 room at the hotel.
Mace, who was sentenced last week, addressed her history with substance abuse and is currently serving her time at Willard Drug Treatment Center.
“I can’t live this life anymore,” she said. “I want to do better, and I will take whatever you give me today and turn it into something good.”
Huyler, who is currently pursuing a diversion program at the Hospitality House in Albany, reflected a similar sentiment as his co-defendant.
“I consider (Hospitality House) to be the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said. “I’m being reintegrated into my children’s lives, I have more self-worth and I’m trying to hold myself to a higher standard.”
Huyler pleaded guilty to three counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
Filipowski said the District Attorney’s office was recommending one to three years on each count to run concurrently. She added that if Huyler does not fulfill his diversion requirements, the recommendation could be prone to change.