A trio of girls who thought it was funny to steal a car have been sentenced to probation.
One of them posted photos of their joyride on Facebook and a police officer noted that the girls didn’t seem to show any remorse when arrested at their city group home.
“She was laughing and joking about the entire incident,” Crown attorney Kaley Tschetter said of the driver of the stolen car during her sentencing this week.
Court heard that on the night of Dec. 29, three girls left their group home to go “car-hopping,” which is slang for stealing items from unlocked vehicles.
At the Keystone Centre parking lot, they found an unlocked 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt with the key inside. The girls got in and drove off.
They picked up a teenage boy from his Brandon home, drove around and stole money from unlocked vehicles to get gas money. They managed to collect $30 and topped-up the tank at a gas station.
The boy burned a hole in the back seat of the Cobalt with a stolen barbecue lighter.
At least two of the girls were then dropped off at their group home.
The next morning, the boy’s mom called police to report the stolen vehicle was in her driveway. There was damage to its bumper, which seemed to have been done when it hit a nearby lamppost, and its spoiler was broken off.
Police caught up with the girls at the home and learned that posts about the car theft had been made to one of their Facebook pages.
The posts include photos of the girls riding around in the stolen car. In one picture, the girl who is driving sticks out her tongue as she gives the camera the middle finger.
She admits to stealing the car during an online conversation with friends in the form of posts to Facebook. Part of that exchange appears below (spelling and grammar have not been corrected).
Driver: “Who wants to come cruising around…”
Boy (who was not in the vehicle): “Lol… what did u steal the f-----g car?”
When the girl accuses another teen of telling on them, one Facebook poster points out:
“u jus ratted urselves out, jus cuz this kid makes a statement that u guys stole a car they still need evidence to make a case and u jus admitted to it, u dont think cops look at this s--t,?”
In response, the driver writes that the girls knew they were going to get caught.
The arresting officer noted that the girls, including the driver, didn’t seem to care or think the car theft was a big deal.
Tschetter told court that the girls were laughing — they were more concerned about receiving orders to abstain from alcohol and drugs as part of their release orders.
On Monday, the 15-year-old driver pleaded guilty to car theft and other offences that included failing to attend court on Dec. 30 and breaching her bail curfew on three separate dates. Staff at her group
home reported the curfew violations.
She was sentenced to 18 months probation with 40 hours of community service work .
Previously, a 14-year-old girl involved in the car theft got 15 months probation with 40 hours of community service work for that and other charges.
The third girl, 15, was put on probation for a year, while the boy who was involved received a total of 18 months probation and 30 hours of community service work for taking an auto without consent and other offences.
He was also sentenced for mischief. While “car-hopping,” the 14-year-old boy used a knife to cut the cover of a Jeep Wrangler to get in and steal change.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 12, 2014