Crime

Fairhaven burglar gets 2 1/2 years in prison

A man involved in a string of Fairhaven burglaries was sentenced to nearly 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday, April 23.

Gregory Keefe, 32, and his friend Blake Ryan Davis were charged with breaking into four Fairhaven businesses on Feb. 15. Keefe pleaded guilty to multiple charges Thursday, and was sentenced to nearly 30 months in prison and another nearly 30 months of probation. During that time he must undergo substance abuse treatment through the Department of Corrections.

Police tried contacting Keefe and Davis on Feb. 16 at the Rodeway Inn following reports of several burglaries of Fairhaven businesses a day earlier. They found Davis in a third-floor room of the motel, but Keefe climbed out the window and jumped to a lower-level roof before police entered the room. Police later arrested Keefe while he was trespassing at an abandoned house.

Davis, 29, admitted to police that he and Keefe broke into Skylark’s Hidden Café around 2:30 a.m. Feb. 15 by cutting a gate chain and prying open the door. They stole around $1,500 and caused at least $2,000 in damage to the door and drop safe, according to charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

The two men then broke into Village Books, Paper Dreams and Colophon Café the same night, stealing a variety of items that included fanny packs, jewelry and an e-reader along with more cash, charges said.

Keefe has prior convictions of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, second-degree theft and juvenile burglary.

Davis’ case has not been resolved yet.

Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Quinn said 29.75 months represents half of the standard sentencing range for a person with Keefe’s criminal history, and Quinn recommended the other half be spent in community custody. Keefe will receive drug treatment both in prison and after his release, and will be subject to further sanctions if he does not complete his treatment.

“The majority of these property offenses stem from the offender’s issues with substance abuse, and if we don’t try to address the underlying substance abuse problem, we’re not protecting the community from future behavior,” Quinn said.

At his sentencing Thursday, Keefe admitted to Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis that he’s had addiction issues for over half his life and has received treatment for substance abuse issues five times.

“I’m grateful for this second opportunity,” Keefe said.

“I think it’s more than a second opportunity,” responded Montoya-Lewis. “I really need you to understand that these opportunities don’t continue over time.”

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