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Man gets 10 years for series of NYC hotel thefts

NEW YORK (AP) – A serial thief is headed for 10 years in prison for a string of heists at New York City luxury hotels, including a theft of $250,000 worth of valuables at The Plaza hotel room of a woman from the United Arab Emirates.

James Bennett was sentenced Tuesday. The 45-year-old pleaded guilty this month to grand larcenies and burglaries at hotels including the Jumeirah Essex House and the St. Regis New York.

Among the thefts were the disappearance of about $250,000 worth of jewelry, electronics and other valuables from Arwa al-Qassimi’s room at The Plaza on Oct. 30.

Defense attorney Javier Damian says Bennett regrets the thefts. He says Bennett was struggling with crack cocaine and family deaths.

Prosecutors say about $35,000 worth of stolen items were found in Bennett’s home.

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