A Hunterdon County man who used Facebook to select his targets has finally been sentenced for burglaries that took place in 2011.
Steven Pieczynski was friends on Facebook with a Newtown, Pa. couple. The couple posted their vacation plans on Facebook. Their home was robbed while they were away, and neighbors saw his vehicle near their home on the evening the burglary took place. Detectives arrested Pieczynski after finding proceeds from the burglary in his home during the execution of a search warrant. Additional proceeds discovered during the search led detectives to additional victims, and resulted in additional burglary charges for Pieczynski. Officials said the additional burglaries occurred during the power outages following Hurricane Irene. Pieczynski targeted his neighbors in those burglaries.
Pieczynski pleaded guilty to burglary and theft in 2012, but then fled the country before sentencing. He entered Canada illegally on September 29, 2012 using a kayak, launched from Lewiston, New York on the Lower Niagara River. After crossing the Niagara River, he made his way to the greater Toronto area.
Detectives eventually tracked down Pieczynski, and in October of 2012, members of the Toronto Police Service Fugitive Squad, the Integrated Border Enforcement Team, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Canada Border Services Agency arrested Pieczynski at the home of a woman he met on the internet. He was extradited back to the United States.
Upon his return to Hunterdon County, Pieczynski pleaded not guilty to the bail jumping charge and faced a trial by jury. In March of this year, the jury returned a guilty verdict in the case.
Pieczynski previously was sentenced for third degree bail jumping, and received four years in state prison. He has been sentenced to two additional five-year prison terms.