Scott Kuebeck is shown here during his Jan. 1, 2017 arrest in Abbotsford. He has now been sentenced for nine robberies in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Man sentenced for 9 robberies praised by judge for efforts to change life

Scott Kuebeck previously pleaded guilty to robberies in Abbotsford and Chilliwack

A man who went on a drug-fueled robbery spree in late 2016 in Abbotsford and Chilliwack was commended in court on Friday for his efforts to turn his life around in the two years he has been in jail.

Scott Kuebeck, 30, was sentenced in Abbotsford provincial court to four years in prison for the nine counts of robbery to which he previously pleaded guilty.

He was given three years’ credit for the time he has already served, leaving him with one more year in prison. His jail term will be followed by three years of probation.

Judge Jill Rounthwaite said Kuebeck’s crimes had caused psychological harm to his victims. But after listening to the sentencing submission from his lawyer and to Kuebeck’s tearful apology in court, she said she believed that his remorse was “very real” and “genuine.”

She said it’s “run of the mill” for a judge to hear from criminals that they have found religion or that they’re sorry and won’t do it again, but she felt that Kuebeck was sincere.

“You have impressed me with your attitude toward the offence and the degree to which you have tried to work on rehabilitative steps since you have been in custody,” Rounthwaite told Kuebeck.

Kuebeck was initially charged with five robberies, which was upgraded to 13, but he pleaded guilty a year ago to nine of them – six in Chilliwack and three in Abbotsford. All but one were committed in December 2016.

RELATED: Suspected robber now faces 13 charges in Abbotsford and Chilliwack

RELATED: Man pleads guilty to nine robberies in Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson said Kuebeck was a heroin user at the time of the offences and owed a significant drug debt to people who were after him to pay up.

Of the nine robberies to which he pleaded guilty, three were at banks and six were at other businesses, including a restaurant, two hotels and a coffee shop.

Kuebeck produced a knife in five of the incidents, and said that he had a gun in two of them, although he was not carrying one.

In most of them, Kuebeck handed over a note in which he demanded cash.

“I want $1,500 in $100 bills – no dye packs, no tracers. Do not make a scene and there won’t be a problem,” McPherson said one of the notes read that was handed to a bank teller.

In another instance, Kuebeck walked around the counter to access the cash register, pulled out a knife and grabbed the worker’s cellphone.

McPherson said one of the ways that investigators were able to first link Kuebeck from one crime to the next was that victims provided a similar description of the knife that was used.

McPherson said five of Kuebeck’s victims provided statements about how the crimes had impacted them. They describe ongoing feelings of anger, anxiety and fear, and two of them – including one who was just 17 years old – quit their jobs afterwards.

One victim described the robbery as a “life-changing event.”

Kuebeck was arrested in Abbotsford on Jan. 1, 2017, after robbing a jewelry store in Sevenoaks Shopping Centre. Police, with the use of a canine unit, discovered him hiding in some bushes not far from the scene.

He has been in custody ever since.

Defence lawyer Tony Lagemaat said Kuebeck grew up in a home rife with addiction and physical and sexual abuse, and himself has been a drug user since the age of 12. He has been in and out of treatment, Lagemaat said.

But he said Kuebeck has made significant progress in prison to deal with those issues, including completing his Grade 12 and taking every course available to him in areas such as life skills and addiction management.

He even completed one course twice, and, through the Wraparound Program, has given speeches to prevent at-risk kids from getting involved in crime.

The judge received copies of the certificates Kuebeck had obtained, and she said it was the most she had ever seen anyone complete during their time in prison.

Lagemaat said Kuebeck plans to enter a treatment program in the community when he is released from prison, and his long-term goal is to become a drug and addictions counsellor.

He said that, while Kuebeck has been in custody, he has come across the people to whom he owed his drug debt. They told him that as long as he stays clean, his debt will be forgiven, Lagemaat said.

Kuebeck addressed the court by saying he is “deeply sorry” to his victims for the crimes he committed.

“I was in a very dark place in my life,” he said. “I was always told that I would never go anywhere in life, and I believed this for a long time. As a result of that, my actions followed suit.”

He said he has worked hard to change his life and to identify and understand the issues with which he has struggled. He said he now wants to give back to society and “possibly save lives.”

Kuebeck told Rounthwaite that he had written letters of apology to his victims, and the judge instructed his lawyer to ensure they get to those people.

Rounthwaite praised Kuebeck for the progress he has made, but cautioned him to be vigilant about the issues that have triggered his drug use.

“I have no doubt whatsoever, as long as you keep following the right path, you in fact will be able to make something of your life,” she said.

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

Just Posted

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Horgan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

fdf
Massive new six-building complex planned for development in Mission

Complex would bring 289 residential units, 11 commercial retail units and four new office spaces

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
Eight scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

Last year, the Mission Christmas Bureau celebrated its office opening with an open house. Covid-19 has forced the organization to switch to online registrations this year. / Kevin Mills File Photo
Registration for this year’s Mission Christmas Bureau will be completed online

Bureau gearing up to make Christmas possible for hundreds of local families and children in need

Barry Shantz in 2015 in front of a homeless camp at Gladys Avenue and Cyril Street. Abbotsford News file photo.
RCMP officers cleared in killing of Abbotsford homeless advocate

Barry Shantz was shot following a mental health crisis at his home on on Jan. 13, 2020,

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
BCHL team in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for upcoming hockey season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Most Read