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.”