Burglar Caught in the Act Sentenced to Prison

A man who claimed he was stealing items to sell so he could send money to his girlfriend in jail has been sentenced to prison as a Habitual Felony Offender.

Christopher Viens was sentenced to 7 years in prison followed by 36 months probation for one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and given the same sentence for Burglary of a Dwelling. He was also sentenced to a total of 364 days in jail for one count of Resisting an Officer without Violence and 60 days in jail for Petit Theft.

On February 6, 2019, a resident called the Cape Coral Police Department after seeing a vehicle in a neighbor’s driveway and a person with a flashlight walking around the house. Upon arrival, officers saw the van in the driveway with a man sitting in it with a flashlight on his head. Officers ordered the man out of the van but instead of getting out he started grabbing around on the floor of his vehicle. They demanded he show his hands but he did not so an officer reached out to open the door. The defendant was trying to grab a tool on the floor and then jumped out and tried to run. The officer was able to grab him and detain the defendant on the ground. Once on the ground officers noticed a gun in the defendant’s belt loop and took control of it.

Viens started crying after he was handcuffed and said he was told the house was abandoned and was stealing to get things to sell so he could help his incarcerated girlfriend. He also admitted that the gun belonged to a friend and he knew he should not have it as he is a convicted felon. The van he was using to commit the crime belonged to a car rental company the defendant worked for and he admitted he was not supposed to have taken it from the business.

Officers found many trash bags full of items and tools in the van. Veins admitted almost
everything had been stolen from the house.

“The quick response time of the Cape Coral Police Department along with alert neighbors helped
stop this burglary in the act. Prosecutor Leena Marcos and our Career Criminal Unit handled the
case from there. This is a good example of team work between the community and law
enforcement to keep Southwest Florida safe,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office
ssyoen@sao.cjis20.org
239-533-1125