Navy dependent faces year in jail for Okinawa golf course break-in
July 31, 2003
NAHA, Okinawa — A Japanese prosecutor is seeking a one-year prison sentence for a Navy dependent who pleaded guilty to burglarizing Kadena Air Base’s Chibana Golf Course pro shop.
Brian Santos, 20, entered the plea Monday during a 90-minute hearing in Naha District Court.
He was charged with burglary for entering the pro shop through the ceiling June 10 and stealing 11 golf clubs.
“I realized that what I have done was really bad,” Santos told the judge Monday. “I will never do this again.”
Santos will be sentenced Aug. 20.
During the hearing, Santos admitted he sold the clubs June 11 to a Japanese golf equipment store for 55,000 Yen, about $470.
Prosecutor Tsuyoshi Satake said Santos, a former shop employee, discovered a way to enter the building through an existing hole in the ceiling.
During the burglary, Santos stuffed golf clubs and other items into a bag and exited the building the same way, Satake said. Santos took the golf clubs to the Japanese shop where the owner knew him well and later identified him to police.
“Since early December in 2002, he stole golf clubs from the shop three times and sold them at the Japanese golf equipment store to earn cash,” Satake said.
Santos was arrested June 13 after being questioned by Japanese police. He was indicted July 7 and has since been held in Naha Detention.
Santos’ attorney, Miyatomi Harushima, asked the judge for leniency.
“He fully admitted his responsibility, and he is truly repentant for what he has done,” Harushima said, adding the crime stemmed from emotional conflicts with the shop’s management. “He stole the goods out of revenge, but his scheme was an easy-to-detect, very crude one.”
Harushima said Santos’ family and both shops had reached a private settlement — $1,560.55 was paid to Chibana Pro Shop and 55,000 yen to the owner of the Japanese store.