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Damon Petty

Damon Petty, charged in University City burglary.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A burglar who was frying bacon when a University City woman returned home and caught him in her kitchen has been sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Police nabbed Damon L. Petty, 37, of the 200 block of Roberta Avenue in Ferguson, in September 2011 for the burglary at the 6600 block of Crest Avenue. The female homeowner and her friend arrived to find Petty making himself at home in her kitchen.

They subdued him until police arrived. Officers found household items in his pockets.

Petty was charged with first-degree burglary, which he pleaded guilty to on Tuesday. St. Louis Circuit Court Judge David Vincent, who delivered the sentence, also considered a second-degree burglary charge on a separate incident.

Petty's list of criminal convictions in St. Louis includes domestic assault in 2008, unlawful possession of a firearm from 2010, and tampering with property of another in 2005.

Jennifer S. Mann is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.