A would-be burglar who claimed that he was looking at stars when he got caught on the roof of a city business is now looking at bars after being sentenced to jail.
When William Charles Trask was found on the roof of the Sobeys Cash and Carry in the city’s north end, he had a stellar explanation for police when they asked what he was doing there.
“He said he was gazing at the stars,” Crown attorney Garry Rainnie told Brandon court on Monday.
Police were called to the business in the early morning of Aug. 31, after an alarm on a roof hatch was triggered.
Officers climbed up to the roof and found Trask lying beside an air conditioning unit.
He was dressed in black, wore gloves and had a pry bar in his backpack.
He later admitted that he wasn’t really stargazing. He’d intended to break into the business to get cash and was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to attempted break and enter.
He also pleaded guilty to breach of bail curfew and possession of a break-in instrument, charges that were laid following an ill-fated bike ride.
Around 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, police grew suspicious when they spotted a man riding his bike while wearing a balaclava over his face and his hood pulled over his head.
When they tried to stop the man, he pedalled off but didn’t get far — he hit a snow bank, abandoned the bike and ran.
The cyclist was Trask, who was found under a bridge. Police heard a “clink” as they approached, and it turned out to be the sound of Trask tossing away a pry bar that had been in his backpack.
Trask was far from home at a time when he was meant to be under a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.
Defence lawyer Ryan Fawcett told court that Trask had an explanation for this incident too.
Trask had a friend whose roommate had moved out and taken the keys to a locked shed.
The friend needed tools from the shed for work the next day and Trask was going to help by prying open the shed.
Trask has amassed a lengthy criminal record in recent years, but Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta suggested he should find honest work.
His attempt to evade police by riding a bike in mid-winter proved that he’s not a good criminal.
“You are anything other than a criminal mastermind,” Hewitt-Michta said as she sentenced Trask to a further four months in jail on top of 10 days he’d already spent in pre-sentence custody.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 22, 2013