Admitted jewelry thief sentenced for residential burglaries

Mary A. Castillo

When Debra Carroll, 51, of Laguna Beach, was arrested by police on

suspicion of committing several residential burglaries this summer,

she realized she finally had to face the consequences of her



“She had never been in trouble, never caused any harm and had no

indication or history that her life would take this type of turn,”

said defense attorney Dyke Huish, who spoke on her behalf. He


emphasized that alcoholism and the influence of the wrong

acquaintances led her to commit a series of home burglaries this


Carroll, who is called “Holly” by her family and friends, pleaded

guilty to five counts of first degree residential burglary and one

count of possession of a controlled substance on Sept. 25. She is now

serving four years and eight months in state prison.

When she was first interviewed by police, Carroll admitted to the


crimes and apologized for her behavior, Sgt. Jason Kravetz said.

Police estimate, based on the charges she pleaded guilty to, that she

stole $72,000 worth of jewelry, cash and other personal items.

However, police said only $1,000 of that property was recovered and

returned to their owners.

During the property viewing police held last month, victims were

excited that someone had been arrested. But they were shocked when

they discovered how easy it had been for someone to enter their



“In every one of the burglaries she pleaded guilty to,” Kravetz

said, “she got in through unlocked doors, sliders and windows.”

In almost every scenario, police said Carroll entered homes when

residents were away. However, she once woke up a woman taking a nap

when she stood by her bed rummaging through the victim’s purse.

Carroll left the woman’s home after claiming she had been looking for

a rental, Kravetz said.

“I know how terrible Holly feels for causing harm to her friends,

family and the people of Laguna Beach,” Huish said. “She immediately

accepted responsibility and is now serving an appropriate