Kamloops bait bicycle proves useful in sentencing of thief - InfoNews

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Kamloops bait bicycle proves useful in sentencing of thief

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September 18, 2017 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man has been fined and urged to stay sober after tampering with an RCMP bait bicycle.

Brandon Leigh Hopson, 27, pleaded guilty today, Sept. 18, to stealing a seat from an RCMP bait bike earlier this summer. Court heard police had secured a bait bicycle on June 23 between Riverside Park and Pioneer Park.

Just before noon, Crown prosecutor Don Mann said, police saw movement from the GPS tracker on the bike, indicating it was moving from Riverside Park to the Overlanders Bridge.

Police saw the suspect on the bridge, but noticed he was riding a different bike. Officers arrested Hopson on the city's North Shore where they found he was carrying the bait bike's seat inside a wrapped shirt.

Mann told the court Hopson admitted to stealing the seat in his police statement, and said he didn't know why he did it.

"There's considerable public interest in deterrence," Mann said, noting police have voiced concerns about the amount of bicycle thefts in Kamloops.

Because Kamloops is a hot spot for mountain biking, Mann said, bike thefts can be problematic for the community.

Defence lawyer Jay Michi told the court Hopson has struggled with alcohol in the past, but has taken some serious steps in getting his life back on track.

Hopson echoed that statement, apologizing and saying he had been sober for four months before the June 23 offence. 

"I haven't drank since the day I relapsed and took the bike seat," Hopson said.

Kamloops Provincial Court judge Christopher Cleaveley granted an absolute discharge for Hopson, but imposed a $300 fine for the offence. An absolute discharge means Hopson will not have this conviction on his criminal record, and won't be bound by a probation order or conditions.

"Bit of a break today, but make sure you follow through on your commitment to sobriety," Cleaveley said.

For more information on how to protect your bike from theft, go here.


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