South Carolina Psychiatrist/Burglar Ian Gale Sentenced

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The Associated Press
December 3, 1979
Psychiatrist-Burglar Sentenced to 15 Years

A psychiatrist was sentenced by a judge Monday to 15 years in prison on one count of housebreaking and larceny for carrying out a series of burglaries that netted about $300,000 worth of property from homes in fashionable neighborhoods.

Dr. Ian Gale was ordered to serve the same sentence on seven other burglary counts, but Circuit Judge Walter Cox directed that those terms run concurrently with the first sentence.

Cox also ordered that the state Department of Corrections determine whether Gale’s abilities as a physician could be utilized and that he be assigned to an apropriate facility.

In a statement to the judge before sentencing, Gale said he had never anticipated the consequences that the burglaries he committed in Columbia would have on himself and his family.

Gale was accused of stealing about $300,000 worth of property from homes in fashionable areas of Columbia over several years. Richland County Sheriff Frank Powell termed him a “modern day Jekyll and Hyde” after Gale’s arrest in a high-speed chase last July.
The psychiatrist pleaded guilty Oct. 8.

Authorities said the arrest came after they traced to Gale a check that was stolen from one of the residences and written for a small sum at a Columbia bank.

After the arrest, officers found Gale kept a room in his home that his family was not allowed to enter. In it they found thousands of dollars worth of stolen items and rare coins and Nazi paraphernalia.