Several suspects in a May 5

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.

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

Just Posted

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read