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Surrey golf centre robber loses appeal

Appeal court heard Thomas Bert Prins used handgun, wore a balaclava and took his victim’s keys, vehicle, wallet and mobile device
Statue of Lady Justice at Vancouver Law Courts. (File photo)

A man found guilty of robbing a golf centre employee in Surrey with a gun, among other crimes, has lost an appeal of his convictions.

Thomas Bert Prins was convicted of seven offences on Sept. 8, 2017. A B.C. Supreme Court judge found him guilty of robbing someone as they left work at a golf centre in Surrey, using a handgun and wearing a balaclava. Prins made off with the victim’s keys, vehicle, wallet and mobile device.

He also robbed a BC Ferries employee of $20 at the Horseshoe Bay terminal – again with a gun and wearing a balaclava – and smashed the front glass door of a gas station in Squamish with a sledgehammer to steal chips, pop and chocolate bars.

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Prins was sentenced in March 2018 to seven days in prison and one year probation after being credited for seven years and 11 months pre-sentence custody. He appealed his convictions but the Court of Appeal for British Columbia dismissed them on Jan. 10.

A court document notes that during a “Mr. Big” operation Prins led undercover police officers to Stanley Park – where the Surrey robbery gun was buried – and told undercover officers he wanted to have someone killed for implicating him in the crimes.

Justices Lauri Ann Fenlon, Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten and Karen Horsman heard the appeal in Vancouver.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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