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Career criminal dodges life sentence for stealing Nike shoes

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A career criminal nabbed for swiping a pair of Nike shoes from a JC Penney at a San Bruno mall was slapped with a two-year prison sentence Wednesday – a much lighter term than the 25 years to life he was facing under California’s three-strikes law.

Despite eight prior felony convictions, including three for robbery, 55-year-old Henry Frye shoplifted a $60 pair of shoes from the Tanforan Mall store on Aug. 19, 2010.

After he was caught, the South San Francisco crook apologized, saying his disability had run out and “things are so tough right now,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Frye pleaded no contest to a felony burglary count July 11.

During sentencing Wednesday, a San Mateo County judge decided against applying the three strikes law and instead sent Frye to prison. Of his two year sentence, he received 494 days credit for time already served, Wagstaffe said.

He remains in custody.

maldax@sfexaminer.com