Prairie Post (West Edition)
Credit card scam to obtain property results in six-month sentence
An employee of Prairie Sky RV in Coaldale suspected something was a little fishy when Gerald David Thurber arrived on July 29, 2020 to pick up $11,000 worth of equipment that had been previously ordered over the phone by Darren Young.
After Thurber picked up the equipment and drove away, the suspicious employee followed him to a storage facility in Coaldale and watched him enter one of the units. Prairie Sky RV subsequently learned the credit cards used to purchase the equipment were stolen and called the RCMP, who were directed to the storage unit.”
“The storage unit was searched, and a large variety of equipment, none of which Mr. Thurber was the lawful owner of, was found inside of that storage unit,” Crown Prosecutor Adam Zelmer said Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, where Thurber pleaded guilty to a charge of possessionÂ of stolen property over $5,000.
Court was told police began investigating Thurber even before he picked up equipment from Prairie Sky RV. On July 19 a similar incident occurred at Western Tractor west of Coaldale, in which a person, using stolen credit cards, called and purchased equipment worth about $16,000.
Thurber arrived afterward and picked up the equipment, which had been ordered by Darren Young.
“No individual was ever identified to be Darren Young, and no one ever found with that name and date of birth,” Zelmer said.
Western Tractor learned the credit cards used to buy the equipment were stolen, and police were called. However, Thurber’s whereabouts were not known at the time.
Then he tried the same scam 10 days later at Prairie Sky RV.
Police recovered from the storage unit rented by Thurber numerous stolen items, including industrial, recreational and construction equipment such as mitre saws, worth between $30,000 and $40,000 and none of which Thurber owned. Most of the items were returned to their owners.
Thurber, who appeared in court by CCTV from the Medicine Hat Remand Centre, was sentenced to six months in jail but given full credit for time he’s already been in custody, which completes his sentence. He will remain in custody, however, for unrelated offences on which he is waiting to be sentenced.
“He is likely to be in custody for some time yet on those matters,” Zelmer pointed out.
Thurber was sentenced in August, as well, after he pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching release conditions, two counts of drug possession, and one count of trafficking stolen property.
Court was told that on several occasions earlier this year and in 2021, Thurber breached release conditions after he was granted bail on the two-year-old charges on which he was sentenced Tuesday. He was also caught trafficking stolen property (vehicles and transmissions) in Coaldale on Feb. 22 of this year, and on April 26 he was caught with small amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
He was sentenced to four months in jail on those charges.