San Mateo dog walker sent to the pound after pilfering jewelry from clients 

This career crook may never be let out of the dog house. A San Mateo dog walker faces 60 years to life in prison under the three strikes law after stealing $5,500 worth of jewelry from clients.

Parolee Nicolas John Barbanica, 32, pleaded no contest Monday to charges that he burglarized three homes while working as a dog walker in 2009. The dog owners trusted him with the keys to their homes so he could walk the pooches.

Prior to the thefts, Barbanica already carried four residential burglary convictions, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

On multiple occasions Barbanica stole jewelry from pet owners, Wagstaffe said. He gave some jewelry to his girlfriend, and pawned the rest at Millbrae jewelry dealer Numis International.

Barbanica is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 7. He remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

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