‘Ram raid’ burglar jailed for three years

A man who stole alcohol after driving a car into the rear door of a liquor store was sentenced to five years in prison for that burglary and two others.

Brian Lloyd Webb Jr. was sentenced last week to a total of five years imprisonment for three non-residential burglaries. The longest sentence, three years, was for what Crown counsel Marilyn Brandt described as a “ram-raid” burglary.

Ms. Brandt said the incident occurred after 2 a.m. on June 30, 2013 at the Jacques Scott Store in Countryside Shopping Village, Savannah.

Webb, now 26, took a relative’s vehicle without permission, drove it to the site and crashed it into the store’s rear double door, which was used as a loading entrance. Closed circuit TV showed that he hit the door three times. Rated to hurricane specifications, the door was valued at $4,000.

Webb then entered the store and stole a bottle of rum and 24 bottles of beer, valued at $66.94.

He was arrested that same morning, but had a medical episode and fainted while in custody. After receiving medical attention, he was bailed.

On July 17, 2013, he voluntarily entered Caribbean Haven for substance abuse help, but he left on Aug. 10. Police were looking for him, but were told he was in Jamaica for additional substance abuse treatment.

Ms. Brandt and defense attorney John Furniss detailed the other offenses for Magistrate Grace Donalds.

The second burglary occurred at Elmslie Memorial United Church on Nov. 6, 2013. Webb entered an upstairs office by breaking a glass pane in the locked door. He later explained he had gone there to sleep, and then realized he could take a printer and sell it to get drugs.

The next morning, church workers found the door forced and the office ransacked. Police visited the scene and dusted for fingerprints. They found a match for Webb.

The third burglary was at Coral Sands Apartments in George Town on May 4, 2014. CCTV showed an undisguised male breaking into the office around 3:15 a.m. An hour or so later, the CCTV picked up two males entering the office with their faces covered.

Police recognized Webb from the first visit and noticed he was wearing a bandage on his foot. One of the men on the second visit had a bandage on his foot.

Items stolen included cash, phones, a camera and beers from a fridge. Total value was $5,555.

Webb pleaded guilty to all three burglaries on May 15. He applied to enter the Drug Rehabilitation Court, but failed to comply with that regimen.

At the sentencing hearing, Mr. Furniss and Ms Brandt referred to what is believed to be the first sentence in Cayman for “ram-raiding” – not just breaking and entering a building, but actually breaking down the building itself and then stealing its contents. Coincidentally, they both had appeared before Justice Charles Quin in that matter (Aug. 24, 2011).

“Shopkeepers and their premises must be protected and so must the general public,” Justice Quin said. “This sort of offense in the very early hours of the morning, while most residents are still asleep, cannot be condoned. The court must impose a sentence which will serve as a punishment to the offender and a deterrent to others.”

He sentenced that defendant to four years imprisonment after finding him guilty.

Mr. Furniss emphasized Webb’s guilty pleas, the fact that he has serious health problems because of diabetes, and his efforts to kick his drug addiction.

Webb told the court he had received a good education and had a good upbringing. He said he was disgusted that he had let his parents down and himself.

Magistrate Donalds imposed the term of three years for the ram-raid burglary and one year each for the other two. All sentences are consecutive, for a total of five years.

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