Serial burglar awaits sentencing

A West Bay man who committed a drug-fuelled spree of burglaries in South Sound will have to wait until next week to learn his fate.

During a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, 20 Nov., Crown counsel Kerri-Ann Gillies told the court that between 10 Dec. 2018 and 4 Jan. 2019, Jude Roland Theobalds committed a total of four burglaries during which he stole more than $37,000.

“Defendant, Mr. Theobalds, was linked to the burglaries by DNA evidence,” Gillies said.

During the first burglary, the owner of the house was off island on vacation but her husband was staying there.

“When he returned home, he found the house ransacked, and $25,000 worth of jewellery was missing,” said Gillies. “Further inspection found a bottle of cranberry juice which was left by the defendant in the fridge and had been partially consumed.”

DNA evidence conducted on the bottle returned a match for Theobalds.

In the second burglary, Theobalds targeted a house where the owner was also away on vacation. When she returned, she found her window had been smashed and $2,000 was missing. She also found a small drop of blood near a broken window. Once again, the DNA evidence linked Theobalds to the crime.

“After being arrested, Jude Theobalds made admissions,” said Gillies. “He said he could have committed the burglaries because he was using cocaine at the time. He said he would pawn the items to fund his habits.”

While investigating the second burglary, police noticed that a window in a nearby home in the same area had been smashed. The home belonged to a woman who was also away on vacation at the time the burglary took place. When she returned, she found her home had been ransacked and a phone valued at $50 was missing.

The fourth burglary was reported to police after a woman returned home to find her place in a mess and her CCTV unplugged. However, she was able to recover the CCTV footage online. After passing it on to the police, a member of the RCIPS, who is related to Theobalds, was able to positively identify him. In the video, Theobalds could be seen wearing jewellery resembling items reported stolen from previous burglaries.

Theobalds was charged with four counts of burglary, two counts of damage to property and one count of resisting police. He pleaded guilty to the charges of burglary and resisting police.

One of the victims of the burglary is a Judicial Administration employee. Prior to the sentencing hearing, Justice Roger Chapple stated that he knew the victim and had worked with her in a professional capacity, but said he would be willing to pass sentence since there were no objections to him doing so.

Previously, Summary Court Magistrate Valdis Foldats had recused himself from the matter, noting that he too knew the court employee who was one of the burglary victims.