'Dinnertime Bandit' gets 15 years in prison

October 24, 2008 5:42:28 PM PDT
A man dubbed the "Dinnertime Bandit" for brazenly burglarizing upscale Connecticut homes in the 1990s while their residents were home was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison. Alan Golder, 53, told The Associated Press in a prison interview in February that he burglarized hundreds of homes from 1975 until 1980, including those of Johnny Carson, the Kennedys in Florida and singer Glen Campbell.

"I liked the planning," Golder said then. "I liked the execution. I liked the reward."

Golder was dubbed the "Dinnertime Bandit" after several Greenwich-area homes were burglarized in 1996 and 1997.

Stamford Superior Court Judge John Kavenewsky sentenced Golder on Friday to 10 years for each of two burglaries for which he was convicted, 12 years for a larceny conviction and 15 years for kidnapping. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Before he was sentenced, Golder told the judge that he was confused and blamed defense attorney, Howard Ehring, for his conviction.

"I believe Howard Ehring sold me out," Golder said. "I think the jury was confused when they found me guilty."

But Kavenewsky told Golder that he had no one to blame but himself.

"Mr. Golder, you may have some grandiose illusions that you are an icon in the industry," Kavenewsky said. "But put simply, you are a convict."

Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year prison sentence.

"He is a career burglar who took pride in his methodology. He had it down to a science," Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Valdes said.

Ehring argued for a seven-year sentence, noting Golder's age and that he served a year in jail in Belgium before his extradition.

In 1978, real estate developer Lawrence Lever was fatally shot at his New York home by an accomplice of Golder's during a break-in. Golder served 15 years in prison and was paroled in June 1996.

The Connecticut thefts began three months after Golder's release. Prosecutors argued the Connecticut burglaries bore his signature style. They say Golder scaled mansion walls wearing a black "ninja"-type suit and hood, slipped through second-floor windows during dinnertime and stole jewelry and property worth nearly $1 million. In one case, he tied up a woman in her home.

Golder fled the country in 1997 to live in Europe. He was arrested in Belgium in 2006 and extradited to Connecticut.

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