'Ringleader' in multi-town burglary spree will serve five years in prison

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — The “ringleader” in a string of overnight burglaries across Fairfield County that took place while victims were inside their homes will serve five years in prison following his sentencing Tuesday.

Xavier Medel, a 21-year-old Norwalk man, was given a 20-year prison sentence, suspended after five years, after pleading guilty to crimes in Greenwich, Darien and Westport, including 14 motor vehicle break-ins, two stolen cars and numerous larcenies.

Medel pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree burglary at night, third-degree burglary and second-degree larceny

Assistant state’s attorney Michelle Manning said Medel was “the ringleader” of a group that included him and two then-17-year-olds that targeted various affluent towns across the county.

Medel was arrested in Norwalk on outstanding warrants based out of Westport in December 2018. The then-19-year-old was then connected to other burglary incidents in neighboring towns.

At his sentencing Tuesday, Medel expressed remorse for what he called the “random acts of stupidity” of his youth.

“Three years ago, I was 19 years old and living a reckless lifestyle. While living that lifestyle, I now realize, I hurt you guys — not only mentally but emotionally. Whether it was making your home feel unsafe or taking your car, I was wrong and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Medel said.

Attorney Kevin Black, who represented Medel, said he’s seen his client grow since he began representing him nearly five years ago during a case earlier in Medel’s youth.

“The thing that’s impressed me the most is his understanding of what the victims have gone through in this case,” Black said.

In April 2020, Medel agreed to the jail sentence as part of plea deal.

Manning said the deal was offered, despite the severity of the charges, because of Medel’s youth at the time of the crimes, as well as his cooperation with police.

Medel will not, however, be eligible for sentence review, because it was an agreed-upon sentence.

Upon his release from prison, Medel will also serve three years of probation. If he violates probation, he could be returned to jail for the remaining 15 years of his suspended sentence.

As a part of his probation, Medel will be required to remain employed. He was also ordered not to have contact with any victims in the case, their properties or the two co-defendants in the case, who were both charged as juveniles.