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Friend and family victimized by South Okanagan woman's drug-fuelled crimes

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 17, 2017 - 8:00 PM

PENTICTON - An Olalla woman who broke the trust of a friend and a family member was given a second chance in court after a Penticton judge acknowleged the woman’s efforts to make amends.

Tianna Dube, 22, entered guilty pleas to a charge of theft under $5,000 and fraud under $5,000 in Penticton court yesterday, Aug. 16.

Crown prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court police were called to an Olalla residence on Oct. 31, 2016 after an elderly resident reported theft of between $165 and $265 from her wallet.

She told police Dube, who she knew, had come to her door early in the morning asking to borrow $20 and a few other items.

The woman gathered the money and items for Dube, but upon checking her wallet a few hours later realized money had been taken.

She believed it was Dube who had taken it, the only visitor the wheelchair-bound woman had that day.

On Nov. 19, Keremeos police were notified of another theft of money, this time by Dube’s grandmother, who discovered $340 taken from her bank account using her bank card.

When Dube was confronted, she confessed, apologized and returned her grandmother’s bank card.

Video surveillance at the Valley First Credit Union in Keremeos confirmed Dube’s withdrawals.

Having no prior criminal record, Froehlich asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation.

He said there was some suspicion Dube’s actions were the result of an underlying drug issue, asking for a restitution order for the money taken as well.

Defence lawyer Norm Yates said his client had already paid her neighbour back and was paying her grandmother back at the rate of $20 per month.

She had attended a drug counselling program for a year as well as completing a residential treatment program.

Yates said his client received a "wake up call” when social services recently took her newborn son away from her. He said she was now focussed on getting her son back, noting the theft and fraud had occurred when she was still addicted.

“What tips the scale here is the money is being paid back,” Judge Sinclair said.

“When I first heard these circumstances, I take a dim view of little old ladies being victimized, right? Both grandma and the other one.” the judge said, adding Dube was in the throes of addiction and wasn’t thinking properly.

“That’s what that drug stuff does to you,” he said.

He gave Dube a conditional discharge and nine months probation, adding 20 hours of community service work to the conditions.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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