One-third of a trio who smashed their way into stores in Gravenhurst and made off with more than $10,000 in merchandise had his day in court recently.
Brian Binder, 35, pled guilty to two counts of break and enter, theft and failing to comply with the conditions of an undertaking.
Court heard that on Nov. 7, 2022 a break-in was reported at Currie’s Music on Muskoka Road in Gravenhurst. Three men smashed their way into the store and stole several guitars, valued at just over $1,000. Following the break-in, the owner of the store began sleeping in his establishment to keep tabs on the business, court heard
On November 9, the owner witnessed two men walking down the street just after 4 am carrying bags and boxes. Shortly thereafter he heard the sound of smashing glass and witnessed the men smashing in the front window of Gem & Dia Jewelry store, which is also located on Muskoka Road.
The witness called police and the men ran away but not before stealing more than $10,000 worth of merchandise. The witness identified one of the men, and the police subsequently arrested Binder and two other men.
None of the stolen merchandise was recovered.
Binder was also arrested on separate charges for being at a residence he had been ordered not to attend, less than 24 hours after being released on unrelated charges.
The Crown put forward a joint sentencing request for six months of house arrest, followed by three months under curfew, 12 months probation and restitution.
Justice R. William initially had trouble agreeing to the sentence, saying the nature of the crimes had been so “brazen” that the store owner had slept in his own shop in an effort to protect his business.
“You certainly were a big problem in Gravenhurst back in November,” said Williams. “It contributes to the sense of lawlessness people feel. There’s a feeling in the community that crimes like this are going unpunished.”
Nonetheless, Williams agreed to the joint sentencing submission.
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