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Woman pleads guilty in car burglaries case

A woman accused of stealing items from more than a dozen different cars in Powell and Lovell has pleaded guilty to burglary.

Lori Viarengo, 33, entered the plea on Friday through her court-appointed attorney, Brigita Krisjansons of Cody. Krisjansons told District Court Judge Steven Cranfill that the plea — along with a planned guilty plea to a separate burglary charge in Big Horn County — is part of an agreement with prosecutors that calls for Viarengo to receive five to seven years in prison.

In return for the guilty pleas, all other pending and potential charges in Park and Big Horn counties will be dropped, Krisjansons said. Though Viarengo was only specifically charged with two thefts in Park County, police have said they recovered more than $5,000 worth of stolen materials at her home and storage shed that came from a number of vehicles.

Viarengo is alleged to have gone on a three-day spree of thefts from vehicles parked in lots at Powell High School, Lovell High School, Northwest College and the Powell Aquatic Center in March.

Powell police’s break in the case came when an off-duty officer saw an individual exiting a burglarized car at NWC’s Johnson Fitness Center and, with the help of other officers and Lovell police, later identified her as Viarengo.

Krisjansons said it has not been determined yet how much Viarengo will owe in restitution.

District Court Judge Steven Cranfill will have the ultimate say on Viarengo’s sentence after a pre-sentence report is prepared by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole, though plea agreements almost always are approved.

Viarengo has been jailed since her March 22 arrest, held on $15,000 bail.

The woman Viarengo was living with, 26-year-old Amanda Griffin of Powell, has been charged with a felony count of knowingly receiving stolen property. Griffin has pleaded not guilty and a trial is set for Oct. 18. However, court records indicate a plea deal also is pending in that case.

She is free on her own recognizance pending further proceedings.

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