Michael Dorsey sentenced to 12 years

The man responsible for numerous car and home thefts throughout Montgomery County was back in the courtroom Wednesday, representing himself. A judge sentenced Michael Dorsey to 12 years in prison and his legal troubles aren’t over yet. He’s set to be back in court Thursday.

“He broke the window of my car and stole my purse out of the trunk of my car,” says Barbara Tondi of Potomac.

Almost two years later, Tondi says that moment changed her life and she’s more cautious than ever.

“Every time you pull up somewhere and park you see if anyone is looking at you from a car window,” she says.

In May 2011, Tondi had her car broken into at the Falls Road Golf Course. Police say Dorsey took her purse and used her credit card to make purchases at Giant, Target and CVS.

Similar crimes happened dozens of times in Potomac neighborhoods and police say cameras even captured those fraudulent purchases.

“Basically he would break into cars all throughout our county and steal peoples’ identifies and their credit cards and go shopping,” says Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Chaikin.

The eight-month crime spree ended in October 2011. A jury found Dorsey guilty in five separate trials where he boldly represented himself.

“Mr. Dorsey fired a very experienced attorney, rehired him, fired him, and hired him, fired him on several occasions,” says Chaikin.

Dorsey also delayed both of his sentencing hearings this week, first asking if his family could attend, and postponing Wednesday’s so he could gather paperwork from the jail.

“The prosecutor admitted it looked like Michael, so how many hundreds of thousands of people who look like him can they arrest? The people who look like him,” says Michael B. Dorsey Sr., his father.

While his father says he’s skeptical they have the right guy, authorities say the evidence speaks for itself.

“Police executed a search warrant at his home and they recovered the exact clothing that he was wearing in the video that shows him and also his height and crystal clear photographs, so we’ve got the right person,” says Chaikin.

The remaining sentencing hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday. The state will be asking for 4.5 years. That’s in addition to the sentence of 12 years handed down Wednesday.