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Young Penticton fraudster gets nine months

A Penticton man will spend another nine months behind bars for fraudulently purchasing cell phones in Penticton earlier this month.
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May 31, 2016 - 1:00 PM

PENTICTON - A teenage Penticton man with a lengthy criminal record will serve eight more months in jail after pleading guilty to a number of fraud charges.

Joshua Jacob Munro, 19, will also serve an additional month for breaching report conditions, a judge decided in Penticton Provincial Court yesterday, May 30.

Two wallets belonging to different men were reported stolen to police on Oct. 29 and Nov. 20, 2015, Crown Prosecutor Nashina Devji told court. A clerk at The Source in Penticton called police after someone purchased two cell phones at that store on May 3, 2016. The contract was signed by Munro, but the purchases were made on one of the victim’s credit cards.

A clerk identified Munro when shown pictures of his tattoos.

Police were then alerted to a fraud attempt at the Rogers Wireless store in Cherry Lane Mall on May 5, after a man, later identified as Munro, came into the store three times on separate days and purchased six smart phones valued at $3,500 using the stolen credit cards.

Munro made a return trip to the Rogers store at around 7:30 p.m. May 5, trying to register and activate the phones. A fraud alert had been issued to the store, resulting in the clerk checking Munro’s identification. When the driver’s licence provided didn’t match Munro, the clerk notified the police, who arrived at the store within six minutes.

Munro struggled with police while being arrested, breaking free twice and inciting a police foot chase through the mall. He was pursued through a hair salon before police were able to take him to the ground, where he continued to struggle and resist.

He was taken to hospital in an agitated and combative state until cleared to stay in jail by medical staff.

A bag Munro was carrying held three cell phones, along with three SIM cards, drivers licenses belonging to those whose wallets had been stolen, Mastercard receipts and pawn shop receipts for some of the cell phones.

Devji asked for a sentence of nine to 12 months, noting Munro’s lengthy criminal record, mainly related to youth offences. She noted the long, drawn out nature of the fraud in addition to Munro’s disregard for the safety of others in trying to flee police in the mall.

Defence lawyer Robert Maxwell said his client has been on probation since he was 14. He had been working until about four months ago when his struggle with a methamphetamine addiction got the better of him. He said his client would rather do more jail time than serve a lengthy probation.

Judge Brad Chapman noted Munro’s young age and lengthy criminal record, which includes a history of property offences.

“This isn’t anything to be proud of,” he said, adding Munro needed time in jail, maybe not as as much of a deterrence for him as it might be for others.

With enhanced credit for time served of 36 days, Chapman sentenced Munro to an additional 264 days new time on charges of fraud, personation and possession of a stolen credit card. He also gave Munro an additional 30 days for breaching probation conditions in another matter.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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