PENTICTON - One of two men involved in Okanagan Falls break and enter earlier this year was sentenced to just over a year in jail in Penticton court today.
Brian Barata and Anthony Alfred Yungen appeared before Judge Gregory Koturbash in Penticton court this morning, Oct. 26, facing charges stemming from a break and enter that occurred at 160 Highway 97 on July 17.
Barata’s lawyer, Michael Patterson, asked court for a pre-sentence report to ascertain whether a community sentence would be appropriate for Barata, who has been under house arrest for the past four and a half months. Koturbash granted the request and the reportis expected to take six to eight weeks.
Anthony Yungen, 41, who faced other charges in addition to the Okanagan Falls break-in appeared via video.
After confirming he had dismissed his counsel, he acted on his own behalf, entering guilty pleas on charges of break and enter, possession of break-in tools, possession of stolen property under $5,000 and breaches.
Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Yungen was pulled over by police on March 30, 2016 after noticing the rear license plate on the car Yungen was driving had expired in 2000. Upon advancing to the car, the officer noticed the ignition had been stripped.
Yungen said he had purchased the vehicle three or four days ago “from a French guy.”
A search of the vehicle’s VIN number revealed the vehicle belonged to an Oliver towing company that had reported it stolen days earlier.
Yungen was released on a promise to appear, but on July 17, was again arrested after the property owner at 160 Highway 97 in Okanagan Falls caught him and Barata in the process of stealing a number of items from his property. The owner blocked their exit, preventing Yungen from leaving in their vehicle before the police arrived.
Barata ran to the highway where he police caught him trying to hitchhike about a kilometre away.
Items in the vehicle from the property included old radiators, a hydraulic jack and other auto parts. Break-in tools were found in a backpack in the trunk.
Yungen was arrested, but released on bail on July 19 under curfew conditions.
Yungen then ran afoul of the law once more on Aug. 17, when he was found after his curfew by police in a room not his own, with several others known to police, at the Highland Motel on Burnaby Avenue. Police noticed he was acting in a suspicious manner and a search revealed two grams of methamphetamine in his pocket.
Froehlich asked for a sentence of between eight and a half and ten and a half months for Yungen, who he noted had a criminal record.
Yungen, who spoke in his own defence, asked for a conditional sentence, telling the court he was taking responsibility for his actions and the changes he had to make. The father of two said he was a likeable person who people enjoyed being around.
Yungen said he had been jailed on drug charges eight years ago and managed to stay drug free for five years. He said he had been fighting a methamphetamine addiction for 15 years.
“I’ve had time to reflect on the change needed. This would be a second chance to prove I’m an asset to society,” he said.
Judge Koturbash noted Yungen’s guilty plea and his insights into his behaviour, but added he did not think a conditional sentence was appropriate in this instance.
“Penticton and the South Okanagan has seen a dramatic increase in property crime. We’re all trying to get on top of it,” the judge said, handing down a sentence of 370 days.
With time served, Yungen has 267 days remaining in his sentence. He also faces a year’s probation and $400 in victim surcharge fees.
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.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.