Sentence served for man who participated in $30,000 robbery at Niagara business

A 21-year-old man who participated in a daring robbery at a Niagara Falls business that netted thieves $30,000 in goods has been sentenced to jail.

“He graduated, not academically, but graduated in felony,” Judge Andrew Brown said Tuesday after Chase Belward pleaded guilty to a slew of charges in the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines.

“For a 21-year-old who engages in this kind of crime, his actions are fueled by a lack of common sense, poor decision-making and, most importantly, substance abuse.”

The court heard that the offender, of no fixed address, had spent the equivalent of 11 months in pre-trial detention.

He was sentenced to time served and placed on probation for three years.

On June 16, 2021, the court heard, Belward and a second man punched a hole in the roof of the Lapennaco Liquidation Super Center and entered the business by descending a rope.

Once inside, the men stole $30,000 in merchandise.

Police searched a home on Ottawa Street several days later and arrested three people in connection with the theft. The property related to the break and enter was inside the residence.

The accused was arrested again in September following a burglary at a Niagara Falls home.

In this case, a variety of items including computers, cell phones and jewelry were stolen. The value of the stolen items exceeded $4,000.

The assailant also entered a shed in another home that same evening and stole a $600 motorcycle.