LOGAN — A 27-year-old Sandy woman has been sentenced to jail for her role in a string of local retail thefts, stealing more than $1300 in merchandise. Breaisa M. Montano avoided a prison sentence so that she can receive treatment.
Montano appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning. She previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to three counts of retail theft, a third-degree felony.
Public defender Mike McGinnis said Montano’s criminal history was not good and she has had a rough life. He asked the court to consider a jail sentence and treatment program instead of prison, where she has previously served time.
In August, Montano stole several items from two stores in the Cache Valley Mall. Later, she and a co-defendant, Brittney L. Franklin, also tried to steal several hundred dollars in merchandise from Al’s Sporting Goods.
As Montano left the store, she threw the stolen items into a silver Volkswagon Jetta. A store employee tried to stop her and was hit by the car.
Deputies later recognized the suspect’s vehicle, driving south on US-89/91. When they attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the Jetta fled south, reaching speeds between 80-100 mph. Utah Highway Patrol troopers spiked the car’s tires as it was exiting Sardine Canyon, near Brigham City.
During Monday’s sentencing, Montano said she accepted full responsibility for what she had done, and claimed she was high on drugs at the time of the thefts. She explained how she started stealing as a child, to support her mother’s drug addiction.
Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Spencer Walsh noted how Montano has been convicted of robbery 10 times. He asked the court to send her back to prison to protect the public.
Judge Thomas Willmore sided with McGinnis, sentencing Montano to serve 180 days, but gave her credit for the 123 days she has already served. He noted how the defendant was severely sexually assaulted as a child and never received treatment. He ordered her to complete counseling, be placed on probation and pay restitution to the stores. She was also prohibited from having any contact with Franklin.
Judge Willmore told Montano, “If you don’t get the help you need you’re going to go to prison.”
Franklin accepted a plea deal last week, pleading guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of police, possession of a controlled substance and retail theft, all third-degree felonies. She is scheduled to be sentenced January 28.