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Attorney James Kellenberger, left, talks with client Kariem McFarlin in the courtroom at at Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. McFarlin, who is charged with burglarizing the Palo Alto home of the late Steve Jobs was granted a continuance of plea until Nov. 21. (John Green/Staff)

Former San Jose State University football player Kariem McFarlin was sentenced this week to seven years in state prison for burglarizing several Bay Area homes, including one that belonged to the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

McFarlin, 35, pleaded no contest Nov. 21 to eight felony counts of residential burglary and one felony count of selling stolen property. The Alameda resident could have faced up to 16 years and four months, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett agreed to cap his maximum sentence at seven years and eight months in exchange for the plea.

McFarlin could end up serving just half of his seven-year sentence, said Deputy District Attorney Thomas Flattery. Every day he serves will count as two as long as his behavior is good.

Kariem McFarlin, left, talks with his attorney James Kellenberger in the courtroom at at Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto, Calif., on
Kariem McFarlin, left, talks with his attorney James Kellenberger in the courtroom at at Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. McFarlin, who is charged with burglarizing the Palo Alto home of the late Steve Jobs was granted a continuance of plea until Nov. 21. (John Green/Staff) (JOHN GREEN)

Flattery said the victims of McFarlin's crimes were satisfied by the sentence handed down Thursday. It includes restitution.

I think we got his attention," said Flattery, referring to McFarlin's contrite demeanor while in court. "I don't think he'll be a problem in the future. I'd be very surprised if he was."

McFarlin's burglary spree kicked off March 4, 2011, in Alameda and eventually spanned four Bay Area counties, according to prosecutors. He targeted residences in affluent neighborhoods that were undergoing construction or remodeling and appeared to be vacant.


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Jobs' home on the 2100 block of Waverley Street in Palo Alto was one such home. On the night of July 17, 2012, McFarlin crept into a garage, found a set of keys and looted the residence. Among the items he took were $60,000 worth of Tiffany & Co. jewelry, several Apple gadgets and the driver's license of the CEO, who had died of cancer nine months earlier.

Technology that Jobs helped create led to McFarlin's capture. When he connected the stolen devices to the Internet with his iTunes account, Apple investigators were able to identify him using an IP address. Police collected additional evidence and arrested him at his Alameda apartment on Aug. 2.

Prosecutors ultimately determined McFarlin was responsible for seven other burglaries in Alameda, Marin and San Francisco counties, and had tried to sell some of his ill-gotten goods.

McFarlin's private attorney, James Kellenberger, previously told The Daily News his client wasn't a career criminal. He received a football scholarship to San Jose State University, graduated from college and held various jobs over the past 15 years. But he started breaking into homes when he lost his most recent job as a medical supplies salesman.

Other than the connection to Jobs, Flattery said the case was unremarkable and handled no differently than any other.

Email Jason Green at jgreen@dailynewsgroup.com; follow him at twitter.com/jgreendailynews.