Se­rial thief pleads guilty


A man was sen­tenced to five months in jail for break­ing into an East Hill garage, adding an­other con­vic­tion to what a judge called his “un­be­liev­able” crim­i­nal record.

Austin Daniels, 21, ap­peared in Prince Al­bert’s pro­vin­cial court­house by video to plead guilty to steal­ing cam­era equip­ment and Palm Bay cooler bev­er­ages from an un­locked garage last Wed­nes­day.

Po­lice re­sponded to an alarm call from the prop­erty early that morn­ing. They spoke to the home­own­ers, got a de­scrip­tion and brought in a po­lice dog to help track down the sus­pect.

They soon found Daniels with the prop­erty in his back­pack.

Pros­e­cu­tor Shawn Black­man read out Daniels’ long record of prop­erty crimes, which in­cludes five thefts and four break and en­ters.

Judge Stan­ley Loewen seemed shocked by how quickly the young man had racked up those con­vic­tions.

You have racked up an un­be­liev­able crim­i­nal record,” Loewen said. “I can hardly imag­ine hav­ing had time to com­mit this many of­fences in that pe­riod of time.”

The Crown and the de­fence had agreed on a five-month sen­tence for Daniels. Loewen said he found the sen­tence “quite le­nient,” but agreed to im­pose it. It is ex­tremely rare for a judge to re­ject a joint sen­tenc­ing rec­om­men­da­tion.

De­fence lawyer Terra Len­nox-Zepp said her client feels bad about his ac­tions that morn­ing.

“He wants to apol­o­gize to them, and he indi­cates it won’t hap­pen again,” she said.

Loewen said Daniels has al­ready had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn from his mis­takes, through re­peated stints of pro­ba­tion. He ended his rul­ing with some sage ad­vice from the bench.

“You’re grow­ing up,” he told Daniels, “and it’s go­ing to take a lit­tle change in what your at­ti­tude is to stay out of jail in the fu­ture.”

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