PENTICTON - A man caught stealing from his roommate told court he’s had enough of a life driven by addiction, saying he had “thrown his hands up” in the knowledge he needed help to change his self imposed lifestyle.
Jayson Kenneth Caruso pled guilty to two counts of theft under $5,000 in a Penticton courtroom Thursday, Dec. 7, telling court he didn’t ever want to go back to jail and would enter an addiction treatment program.
Caruso has been in jail awaiting his sentencing following a warrant issued for his arrest for several failures to appear in court earlier this year.
Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told court Caruso agreed to pay $500 per month for a room at a Penticton boarding house.
The owner of the residence discovered Caruso had been stealing from him, after he noticed several belongings going missing, including two gold rings.
Fearing for his safety upon evicting Caruso, the owner called police who monitored the eviction. Caruso denied taking the items, but was identified later by a Penticton pawn shop owner as the man who pawned 11 DVDs, a pair of binoculars as well as the rings. Video surveillance corroborated Caruso as the man pawning the items.
On November 27, 2015 Caruso was detained at Penticton Rona after attempting to steal part of an electric deadbolt system. He was seen by store loss prevention personnel and other customers breaking open the packaging and tucking the inner box of an electric dead bolt, priced at $194, into a backpack he had been told previously to leave at the front of the store. He was forcibly detained until police arrived.
Swanson requested a three-month jail sentence for theft from the boarding house, calling the crime one in which Caruso "took advantage of a trust situation.”
He also called for a shorter jail term for the offence at Rona, while his lawyer James Pennington argued his 26 year old client had substance abuse issues that he’d been struggling with for years. He said his client had investigated and found a bed at a Kelowna residential treatment facility upon his release, without any assistance from anyone.
“The Rona case is the typical story of an addict,” Pennington told court, “someone tells them to get a particular item, and they do it without thinking of the consequences.”
Caruso also spoke on his own behalf, telling Judge Gregory Koturbash he’d a had a “rough go” and was through with the life he’d been leading. He told the judge he had been transferred from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre to Prince George Regional Correctional Centre after being shanked for refusing to hand over prescription medication to another inmate.
Judge Koturbash sentenced Caruso to a conditional sentence of three months on the first count of theft under $5,000, along with 12 months probation and time served. Part of the terms of probation include staying clear of alcohol and illegal drugs, participating in a treatment program and staying clear of Rona in Penticton, as well as the owner of the boarding house.
On the second count of theft under $5,000, Caruso was given a 30-day sentence plus time served.
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