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Man charged with breaking into two vehicles and stealing another in Kamloops gets less than four months in jail

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June 28, 2016 - 10:33 AM

KAMLOOPS - A man who pleaded guilty to six charges related to stealing a vehicle and breaking into another will spend the next 99 days behind bars.

John Stark, 30, appeared in Kamloops Provincial Court yesterday, June 27, where Judge Stephen Harrison gave him a prison sentence of 150 days. Stark is credited with 51 days served.

Court heard that in March Stark broke into a Honda Civic on Paul Lake Road near Chief Louis Way and stole a backpack which contained several personal items of the owner.

He then used the owner's debit card at a Petro Canada gas station, and again at London Drugs, both times using the 'tap' feature for purchases under $100. Stark was out on bail at the time.

Officers identified him while looking through surveillance video from the Petro Canada.

In May, a Tranquille Road resident called RCMP to report his recently purchased and still uninsured Nissan Pathfinder missing, and his Honda Accord tampered with.

An officer on duty was travelling on Batchelor Drive when the call came in and made a mental note of it. He then saw a Pathfinder closely matching the description of the one missing and followed it.

The Pathfinder abruptly turned onto Halston Avenue, and the officer noticed there was no plate on the vehicle. He turned his lights and sirens on but the suspect vehicle didn't stop.

A chase ensued, and Stark parked the Pathfinder, taking off on foot. Stark tried to jump a resident's backyard fence but failed to get over it.

He then stopped and told the officer 'he was done'.

Crown asked for seven months in jail, but Harrison considered that too extensive. Defence lawyer Sheldon Tate asked for a 90-day intermittent sentence, because Stark had a job opportunity lined up.

"Mr. Stark has had a rough patch the past few years," Tate said, telling the court how Stark's brother died two and a half years ago, and that he hasn't been the same since.

Tate also said Stark committed these crimes because he was unemployed and had no source of income.

Harrison said that's no reason to give a lenient sentence. The court also imposed a one-year driving prohibition against Stark, and a one-year probation with a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

"There is an aspect of trust involved in placing someone on probation," Harrison said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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