A man who has admitted to being behind dozens of thefts from cars in Carberry has been ordered to make face-to-face apologies to his victims.
It’s the kind of "senseless violation" that makes people frustrated and angry, Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said.
"You dressed up in dark clothes, put up your hood and went out roaming around your community stealing from your neighbours," Hewitt-Michta said in Brandon court on Thursday.
Dorion Irvin Loewen, 20, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of possession of property obtained by crime and one count of unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon.
Between April and June, RCMP investigated a rash of thefts from vehicles parked outside of various Carberry homes, Crown attorney Marnie Evans told court.
There was no damage done to the vehicles and it appears only unlocked vehicles had been targeted. In total, police received 20 complaints.
Among the items taken, for example, were a violin and guitar, sunglasses, a cellphone charger and a GPS unit.
Police managed to identify Loewen and two other people as suspects, although Loewen was identified as the person primarily responsible.
As a result, Mounties got a warrant and searched Loewen’s home. They found two back packs and two electric razors that had been stolen from vehicles.
Then, on June 3, Loewen’s mom called police and said her son wanted to clear his conscience and return all the stolen property he had.
Police recovered 40 items believed to have been stolen from vehicles across Carberry. To date, 21 items have been returned to owners.
While Loewen admitted to committing 50 thefts from vehicles in Carberry, he was charged in relation to only about 20 of them as those are the ones police could link him directly to.
Evans said the recovered property was returned to owners.
Loewen also surrendered a set of brass knuckles which formed the basis for the unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon charge.
Loewen described to police how he would don a hoodie, go out late at night and target vehicles at random.
Court heard that he committed the crimes, in part, out of boredom and because he believed he wouldn’t be able to get a job.
Hewitt-Michta gave Loewen a two-year suspended sentence, a form of probation, with 60 hours of community service work and a curfew for the first year.
But, she also included a couple of conditions intended to make Loewen answer personally to the victims.
He’s to personally apologize to any victim willing to listen. He’s also to undergo victim/offender mediation.
An 18-year-old boy pleaded guilty in mid-November to possession of property obtained by crime for his limited role by accepting stolen property, and to mischief and breach of a court order.
The teen, a youth at the time of the offences and who can’t be named, received 18 months probation with 50 hours of community service work.
Another man still faces charges in connection with the theft spree.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 9, 2013