(CBS) – A 35-year-old Melrose Park man has been sentenced to 22 years behind bars for the theft of a relatively small item: a universal television remote control.

A jury in November found Eric Bramwell guilty of burglary in connection with the TV remote’s theft from a Wheaton apartment complex common area in August 2015. On Wednesday, a DuPage County judge sentenced him.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Bramwell had a long criminal history and was eligible for Class X felony-level penalties and up to 30 years in prison.

Eric Bramwell (DuPage County state's attorney's office)

Eric Bramwell (DuPage County state’s attorney’s office)

“Regardless of what was stolen, Mr. Bramwell repeatedly thumbed his nose at the law. He took what he wanted time and time again and expected to avoid the consequences. That’s not how it works, as Mr. Bramwell has now found out,” Berlin said in a news release issued Friday.

In the Wheaton theft, Bramwell entered the apartment complex and stole the remote control and fled the scene. He was taken into custody in October 2015. Prosecutors presented evidence that Bramwell had committed a series of burglaries at DuPage area apartment complexes beginning a year earlier.

Bramwell will be required to serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole, Berlin said.

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