Lethbridge Herald

Sentencing set for tire thief

- Delon Shurtz LETHBRIDGE HERALD dshurtz@lethbridge­herald.com Follow @DShurtzHer­ald on Twitter

Aman who stole and sold thousands of dollars worth of vehicle tires and rims over a period of two years, then finally pleaded guilty this week to several charges, won’t be sentenced at least until March. Patrick Francois Rouillard pleaded guilty Monday in Lethbridge provincial court to several counts of shopbreaki­ng, theft over $5,000 and traffickin­g in stolen property. But while he admitted to crimes in Lethbridge, Taber, Calgary, Leduc and Wetaskiwin, his sentencing hearing was adjourned to March 9 to allow time for a presentenc­e report.

The report will provide the judge and lawyers with the accused’s background and personal circumstan­ces to help the court determine a fit sentence.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Ian Elford told court the offences to which Rouillard pleaded guilty began March 8, 2016 when, in a rented U-Haul truck, he stole tires and rims from 10 new vehicles parked at Murray Chevrolet Cadillac in Lethbridge. He also cut the locks on two large sea containers and stole sets of new tires and new and used rims. The value of the stolen items was nearly $60,000.

The next day Rouillard sold an “unknown quantity” of stolen property to an automotive company in Calgary for $8,000.

On May 9 Rouillard cut the lock to a fenced compound at Rocky Mountain Equipment in Lethbridge and stole six pallets of tires and rims worth about $4,500.

Two months later, on July 20, using a U-Haul truck rented in Red Deer, Rouillard cut the fence around the fleet lot of Schwab Pontiac Buick in Leduc and stole nearly $60,000 worth of tires and rims from 13 vehicles. Two days later he was paid $9,700 from an individual for an unknown quantity of stolen property.

Rouillard was back in Lethbridge in October and stole new tires that were chained together outside of OK Tire on 6 Avenue South. He also cut the lock to a trailer and stole custom rims and tires. The value of stolen items was about $8,000.

Around the same time he stole tires and rims from 14 vehicles parked at a lot on 4 Avenue South. The value of the property, plus damage caused to some of the vehicles, totalled about $50,000.

On Jan. 19, 2018, Rouillard rented a U-Haul trailer in Calgary, drove to Taber and stole $23,000 worth of tires and rims from seven new pickup trucks parked at Legacy Dodge.

On June 17 Rouillard entered a locked compound at Denham Ford in Wetaskiwin and stole 14 sets of tires and rims worth $70,000.

Four months later he was back in Calgary, but that time police were watching him when he cut a hole in a fence around the compound belonging to Varsity Chrysler, but didn’t steal anything.

“Rouillard loosened the lug nuts on several pickup trucks and placed a small rock on the hood of each vehicle with loosened lug nuts,” Elford told court. Then he left the area.

“Throughout this time period, Rouillard sold stolen tires and rims through his Kijiji account “Tire Guy,” Elford said. Rouillard, who worked alone, also sold stolen items directly to automotive dealers.

Elford said that after a lengthy investigat­ion involving several police agencies, officers arrested Rouillard July 31, 2019 at Canadian Forces Base Suffield northwest of Medicine Hat.

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