The D.C. man sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison for a spree of burglaries in Montgomery County didn’t make it hard for investigators to track him down. He left court paperwork bearing his name at one of the offices he burgled.
According to police records, Andre Antonio Henry, 30, was the suspect in a slew of burglaries of commercial office buildings in Rockville, Bethesda, and Silver Spring in which the burglar used a flathead screwdriver to pry open doors to gain access to offices.
When police arrested Henry in May, Montgomery County police charged him with 12 separate burglaries or attempted burglaries. Wednesday he was sentenced in three of those burglaries.
Henry had been on probation for burglary charges in Virginia when the crimes occurred, according to court records. That criminal history of burglaries was a factor Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Andrew L. Sonner brought up at sentencing.
“In order to protect the public we really have to warehouse you and keep you locked up, in order to make sure you don’t get out and go back to doing more crimes again,” Sonner said, before handing down Henry’s sentence.
Henry pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary last month, and had faced a maximum of 45 years in prison, but received an 18-year sentence per his plea deal with prosecutors.
“This was a crime wave, and this crime wave is over now,” said Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Chaikin at the sentencing.
In court Wednesday, Henry said little, but shortly before being sentenced, apologized for his crimes.
“I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” he said, speaking in a quiet tone.
Several of the people who worked in offices that Henry had burgled appeared at the sentencing.
Two spoke to The Gazette, but asked not to be named.
One of them was the 43-year-old woman who found Henry’s name on court papers he left at the scene as she arrived that work on Jan. 2.
“All I did was come to work, and here they were,” the woman said.
A few papers had been ruffled or were out of place, but there wasn’t much to indicate there had been a burglary, just some indentations where he had used the screwdriver to pry his way into the office.
Henry took $6, a pin, and an electronic picture frame from that office, she said.
Another burglary victim, who works at Federal National Commercial Credit in Bethesda, found out after an employee called him while he was at a trade show. The office had never been burglarized in the 21 years he worked there, the man said, adding that the crime “shook up” his co-workers.
“It was a first, you just don’t expect it,” he said.
Henry stole a laptop and some petty cash from that office — and then left the laptop at the scene of another burglary, the burglary victim said.
“He left a whole bunch of clues,” the man said.
“I’m glad he’s in jail — I’m happy with the sentence,” the woman who found his court papers said.