Edward Torrison, 30, pleaded guilty Oct. 6 to four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of grand theft and one count of receiving stolen property.
The self-proclaimed gemologist also admitted to a sentencing enhancement of causing property damage in excess of $65,000, according to Orange County Superior Court and jail records.
The case began July 26 when police responded to four jewelry businesses at the Shops at the Cliffs center on South Coast Highway, where employees reported that more than $200,000 in merchandise had been stolen, according to police.
Surveillance video from the shopping center showed two well-dressed men leaving the scene.
Detectives identified Torrison as a suspect through DNA left on a tool used in the burglaries. They also connected Torrison to another burglary at an antique store in Laguna Beach, according to Det. Jordan Mirakian.
Detectives found Torrison on Sept. 26 at the Oceanside home where he lives with his girlfriend. Police said they approached him as he was leaving the house and he ran.
After a short pursuit, officers arrested Torrison on suspicion of burglary and theft.
Detectives executed a search warrant on Torrison's home and said they found $500,000 in stolen jewelry and two loaded guns.
"He has a niche that he goes after," Mirakian said. "He's very much into Native American-themed jewelry and gems and stones."
Laguna Beach police believe jewelry recovered could link Torrison to other burglaries in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
The second suspect in the Shops at the Cliffs burglaries has not been apprehended. Authorities took to social media Wednesday to ask the man to turn himself in.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Laguna Beach Police Department at (949) 497-0701.