Man behind home invasions could be branded a dangerous offender
By Paul Cherry, GAZETTE CRIME REPORTER October 16, 2012 6:03 PM
Suspect in a series of armed robberies and home invasions in Montreal. The suspect is Juan Carlos Cano Cifuentes, 30.
Photograph by: Photo courtesy of Montreal police
MONTREAL — A Quebec Court Judge has ordered that a violent repeat offender — who started a string of six home invasions the day after he left a federal penitentiary — be evaluated as a potential dangerous offender.
Juan Carlos Cano Cifuentes registered little reaction at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday as Judge Salvatore Mascia ordered he undergo an extensive evaluation that could ultimately see him sentenced to an indefinite prison term.
The 33-year-old has known since June 8, 2011, that the prosecution would seek to have him declared either a dangerous or long-term offender. On that day, Cifuentes entered a guilty plea to 25 charges related to the home invasions he carried out in Montreal between April 25 and June 13, 2010.
He sexually assaulted a woman inside her home in the Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough during one of those home invasions, but refused to admit to that specific offence. He underwent a trial on the sexual assault charge and was found guilty, by Mascia, on May 9.
Cifuentes had just finished serving the entirety of a combined 10-year prison term for armed robberies the day before he set off on this most recent crime spree.
In 2007, while at a maximum-security penitentiary, Cifuentes was diagnosed as a potential psychopath after he registered a high score on a scale used to assess psychopathy. Supplied with that information, and details from Cifuentes’s criminal past, the Parole Board of Canada decided, in 2007, to maintain his incarceration. In an assessment filed to the parole board that year, a psychologist described Cifuentes as an “unpredictable individual who doesn’t control his emotions well.” Earlier summaries of parole board decisions say Cifuentes has tried to take his own life several times, beginning at age 12.
The 10-year prison term was an amalgamation of several sentences Cifuentes received from 1999 to 2004 for armed robberies.
On May 14, 2001, in preparation for a statutory release, the Parole Board of Canada ordered that Cifuentes reside at a halfway house during the last third of his sentence. He was released to a halfway house on June 10, 2001, and two days later he broke into a residence for elderly people and held two knives to the throat of an 86-year-old woman. He threatened to slit her throat if she didn’t turn over all her jewelry and cash.
Three years later, in 2004, again while out on a statutory release, he robbed a jewelry store in Laval by grabbing the owner by her throat and slitting her hand with a knife to show he meant business. He also threatened to kill the owner’s 9-year-old son, who was standing nearby, if she didn’t do as he said.
In 2007, Correctional Service Canada recommended that the parole board maintain his incarceration. The board reviewed their decision twice but found no reason to release Cifuentes until his sentence ran out on April 24, 2010. The following day, he entered a home on St. Denis St., through a window, and threatened a family of three while again brandishing two knives. He made off with $20.
During another of the six home invasions carried out in 2010, he broke into a home in Outremont and ordered a couple at knifepoint to drive him to an automatic teller and withdraw money from their accounts. One of the victims lost control of his car while Cifuentes continued to threaten his spouse with a knife and it crashed into an oncoming vehicle on Park Ave. The couple and Cifuentes were all injured but he managed to escape to pull off his last home invasion, on June 13, 2010, while wearing a bandana to cover a laceration on his head.
He was arrested two days later.
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