Several suspects in a May 5

Two years for brazen Willowbrook robbery

Eight men were charged in a daylight robbery of a jewellry store, where bystanders were pepper sprayed.

One of eight men charged in a 2011 jewelry heist at Willowbrook Shopping Centre will go to jail for two years for the “outrageous” crime that played out like a bad “B movie,” said the sentencing judge last month.

Christopher Reinke, 38, was sentenced to two years and two days, minus 30 days time served, for being part of the robbery at Golden Tree Jewellers on May 5, 2011.

Called a “persistent criminal,” Reinke was also sentenced to 60 days for failing to appear in court by Supreme Court Judge J. Williams in New Westminster on July 28.

The robbery took place at the noon hour when eight men vaulted jewelry cases and bear sprayed employees and bystanders while taking items. They fired gun shots on their way out of the mall.

Several people were treated for eye irritation, including a toddler. A security guard was sprayed directly in the face.

Six men were arrested in Coquitlam an hour after the hold-up and two in Vancouver later that day.

“If I were to sentence Mr. Reinke today to five or six years for this robbery, I do not believe that sentence would be characterizable as unfit, excessive or unduly harsh.

“The conduct at bar is, frankly, distressing in the extreme. It is outrageous,” said Justice Williams.

“For this gang of men to sweep into a mall frequented by ordinary citizens of the community and carry out a robbery that sounds like something out a B movie is inexcusable.”

The court learned Reinke is a heroin and cocaine addict, has no significant vocational skills, and has a record dating back to 1990 as a youth. He has spent a substantial amount of time in custody and it hasn’t been effective in deterrence.

The judge told Reinke it was his lucky day because Crown wasn’t asking for much jail time.

Crown counsel submitted that an appropriate sentence was in the order of 30 months.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

‘I love you this much’: B.C. firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Most Read