A Columbia man who escaped from a court-ordered drug treatment program and fled to California was sentenced Monday to 6 years in prison for burglary and theft.
Brian Michael Bumbrey, 23, had been linked by county police to numerous "cat burglaries" in Columbia in 1989 and, most recently, this past summer.
At a May 2 hearing Bumbrey pleaded guilty to one count of burglary of a house in Kings Contrivance in which sunglasses, tennis shoes and money were stolen, and to misdemeanor theft of a watch.
Judge Thomas J. Nissell sentenced Bumbrey for those convictions.
Bumbrey was ordered to attend a secured drug rehabilitation clinic in Prince George's County while awaiting his July 19 sentencing for the Kings Contrivance break-in.
After his escape from the program May 21, a rash of 37 break-ins occurred, all near the bike paths of villages in east Columbia.
While police were seeking Bumbrey, he fled to San Diego.
A thief fitting the same profile as Bumbrey was sought in connection with approximately 50 burglaries in the east Columbia villages between Aug.
25 and Oct. 31, 1989. Bumbrey was charged in four of those burglaries, but as part of a plea agreement, charges in three of them were dropped.
San Diego police arrested Bumbrey June 20 after receiving a tip from county police that he was on his way to that city. He remained in the San Diego County Jail until his extradition in August.
In both series of burglaries, police found the capture of the thief difficult because of his athletic ability and his talent for darting onto nearby bike paths before disappearing into the woods.
On several occasions detectives lost their suspect while chasing him on one of the heavily wooded trails.