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This article was published 4/6/2019 (299 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A man was handed community service and probation on Monday after a shoplifting spree earlier this year, as well as outstanding charges for damaging a vehicle while in Winnipeg.
The man — who is now 18 years old but cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act for charges acquired while he was still underage — pleaded guilty in Brandon provincial court to multiple charges including three counts of theft under $5,000, mischief to property and possession of property obtained by crime.
The brazen thefts started in January this year, Crown attorney Kaley Tschetter, when the man ran out of Shoppers Drug Mart with a couple of Samsung tablets while under the guise he was going to the till to pay.
Staff chased him down the street and, after following his shoeprints down a back alley, police located him at a residence with the two tablets in his backpack.
In March, police were called to the 7-Eleven on 10th Street when an employee reported the man had walked into the store, grabbed a can of Coke off the shelf and walked out, lifting his shirt to reveal what the clerk believed was a gun tucked in his waistband, Tschetter said.
Video surveillance showed the man stealing the Coke and lifting up his shirt toward the clerk as he left, but a gun was not found in relation to this incident.
"We still think it’s a valid point to put before the court because obviously, why flash something before the store employee while leaving if not to intimidate them?" Tschetter said. "(The victim) was intimidated and believed the item to be a gun, which is extremely disturbing behaviour."
In April, the man was again caught stealing items from a convenience store, this time with an underage co-accused from Husky on Rosser Avenue.
The co-accused can be seen on video surveillance grabbing an armful of chips, soda and ice cream and walking out of the store, Tschetter said.
When staff chased after her the man followed, also loaded up with merchandise, and the two ran away.
As a teen approximately a year ago, the accused also got into trouble while in Winnipeg — getting caught by police in a stolen vehicle as well as getting arrested for damaging someone’s car.
In May 2018, police were called in response to a fight happening in a downtown Winnipeg parking lot, Tschetter said, where they found the man and a witness stating the man had damaged his vehicle.
The man told police he was walking down the street when he got in a consensual fight with an unknown man he thought was harassing people, but when he realized his opponent was bigger and stronger than he was, he jumped on the roof of a taxi to get away.
The witness confirmed the story but added the accused then jumped from the taxi onto the hood of his own vehicle, Tschetter said, and started to kick the windshield and the hood.
Until now, the man has had no criminal record, Tschetter said, noting that rehabilitation was still a key focus.
"It’s unfortunate that he’s decided to get involved in these types of offences," Tschetter said.
Defence lawyer Jennifer Janssens said there had been issues of violence and substance abuse in the accused’s home at the time, but that recently he has been attending school and focusing on possible employment when he’s finished.
"Clearly there are things going on in his life … probation can perhaps provide some support in going forward," Janssens said.
Judge Donovan Dvorak sentenced the man to one year of supervised probation in addition to 50 hours of community service.
"You can’t be involved in this kind of stuff, taking people’s property," Dvorak said. "Whether you’re upset or things are bothering you, this is no way to deal with it."
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