Man pleads guilty in blowtorch thefts at Target stores

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FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, shoppers arrive at a Target store in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A Pennsylvania man authorities say used a blowtorch to break into Target stores in multiple states and steal nearly $200,000 worth of electronics has pleaded guilty to related charges.

The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts says 36-year-old Elijah Aiken pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including transporting stolen goods across state lines.

Prosecutors say the Allentown, Pennsylvania, man and accomplices used blowtorches to cut through the metal doors at the rear of the stores from December 2014 until February 2015.

Authorities say they hit stores in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire then sold the stolen merchandise, usually iPhones and iPads, in New York.

Aiken faces up to 25 years in prison at sentencing on Aug. 26. His attorney says he’ll ask for three years, five months in prison, or time served.

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