Burglar Who Learned From TV Show Sentenced to 12 Years

A man who says he learned how to rob homes by watching a cable TV show was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a string of burglaries in central Kentucky.

Michael W. Hobbs, 36, pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary. He was sentenced Friday on those convictions along with a sixth, lesser burglary conviction.

Police said Hobbs, of Waco, Ky., learned how to break into homes by watching the Discovery Channel TV show, "It Takes a Thief." The show featured two ex-convicts who show property owners how vulnerable they are to theft, according to its Web site.

Richmond police Maj. Steve Gregg said the ex-cons on the show said skilled burglars typically don't keep stolen items.

"He didn't hold onto any of the property," Gregg said. "He had no physical evidence at his residence whatsoever. When we entered a couple times, he said, 'Come on in, look around. I've done nothing."'

But Gregg said Hobbs always showed up at the burglary sites.

"He was one of the type of people who would come to the door and ask if (the homeowner) needed any gutter help," Gregg said. "Then the houses around there would get burglarized. That's just not coincidental."