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‘Spiderman’ Burglar Gets 20 Years

August 10, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ A burglar dubbed Spiderman by police was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for stealing $5,000 in property, including cash, a laptop computer and jewelry, from a seventh-floor waterfront condominium.

Derrick James was convicted in December for the June 21, 1998, theft.

James, a former Army paratrooper, is suspected of stealing $6 million in cash, jewelry and credit cards in more than 130 high-rise burglaries throughout South Florida.

Police said Spiderman used his agility and upper-body strength to climb quickly from one balcony to the next without ropes or hooks.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Ellen Leesfield on Monday sentenced James to two 20-year terms, which will run concurrently, for burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft. He must serve a 15-year minimum-mandatory term.

Before the sentencing, the judge Monday denied a motion for a new trial.

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