A Crown attorney says he’s concerned about an alcohol-fuelled crime trend — thieves who bust into rural stores and steal a huge amount of booze to supply a party.
“This is a crime we are seeing with a disturbing frequency,” Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said in court as one offender was sentenced for taking part in a liquor raid.
Marcus Charles Bunn, 24, of the Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation was among four people who broke into the C Store in Miniota on July 28.
Video surveillance showed three men breaking in through the door with what appeared to be a tire iron.
One headed to a fridge to steal cider, while the others broke into a “cage” and stole 30 bottles of liquor.
Sometime later, police learned that Bunn had told people that he’d been present at the break-and-enter.
Police then learned that Bunn had shown up at a party with a number of 40- and 60-ounce bottles of liquor. He told people at the party that he and three others had been involved in the break-in — they’d been drinking non-stop but still had 14 bottles left.
Bunn was arrested as a result. He initially denied involvement, but then confessed when told there was a video of the crime.
He said the burglary wasn’t his idea, and he was the first one in the store so that he could get out quickly.
On Monday, Bunn pleaded guilty to break and enter and to wearing a disguise at the time. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace for an unrelated incident.
On Aug. 24, an upset Bunn was spotted wandering around Birdtail while waving around a machete — or, as he later described it to police, a “big-ass kitchen knife.”
Bunn claimed that he had the knife to protect himself against dogs on the reserve.
Also, on Sept. 20, he was found out drunk in violation of his release order.
Judge Donovan Dvorak sentenced Bunn to a total of eight months and 20 days in jail on all charges.
Three other men still face charges in connection with the Miniota break-in.
That offence was committed nine days before a very similar, but unrelated, crime.
Stahl’s Food Mart in Alexander was broken into on Aug. 6 and thieves took 38 bottles of liquor, 47 packs of cigarettes, fireworks and candy.
Last week, a Sioux Valley Dakota man was sentenced to 139 days in jail, minus 49 days time served, for that burglary and breach of probation.
Three youths still face charges in relation to that crime.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 2, 2013