Machete wielding and theft add up to more than seven months in jail | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Machete wielding and theft add up to more than seven months in jail

Jeffrey Dwayne Leiser has 21 days remaining in a 7-1/2 month sentence for break and enters and carrying a machete in downtown Penticton.
November 04, 2017 - 2:30 PM

PENTICTON - An addiction-fueled crime spree cost a Penticton man more than a year and a half behind bars following sentencing this afternoon.

Jeffrey Dwayne Leiser entered guilty pleas in Penticton Provincial Court today to theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and resisting arrest, stemming from two separate incidents.

Crown Prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told the court today, Nov. 3, Leiser was involved in residential break and enters near Osprey Lake on May 9 of this year.

Police received a report of a shed broken into at a seasonal residence by a neighbour of the Osprey Lake property around 7:20 a.m.

A 2002 Bombardier ATV was missing as was a chain saw and a set of ATV ramps. Marks on the ground indicated the goods had been dragged several kilometres to the KVR trail nearby, court heard.

Later in the day as police were driving out to meet the victim of the theft, officers were informed of a burned out vehicle with two suspicious men nearby. Investigation revealed the 1990 Toyota Corolla had been stolen May 8.

While on scene of the initial break and enter, police were alerted to an open garage door at a second seasonal property next door. Further investigation revealed the garage door’s locking mechanism and frame had been extensively damaged and the garage rummaged through.

The ATV was located on another neighbouring seasonal property shortly afterwards, but full time residents noticed the property owner’s 1992 Chevy flat deck truck was missing. Court heard that the owner was notified and confirmed it to be stolen.

Police caught up with Leiser around noon the same day when an RCMP officer was alerted to the truck reported broken down near Eastgate on Highway 3.

The officer found Leiser unloading tools and other equipment out of the back of the truck and arrested him for possession of stolen property after items matching the description of those taken at Osprey Lake were found.

Between $5,000 and $8,000 worth of damage had been done to the truck, Vandersluys said.

The RCMP forensic team also noticed a distinct shoe sole pattern in mud near the break and enter scenes and were able to match them to Leiser’s footwear.

Police arrested Leiser again on June 22 in Penticton after police investigated a complaint of two teens with a man carrying a pistol near Queens Park School.

Police attended the area where they were given descriptions of two men, who were no longer there.

Shortly afterwards, police came across two men matching the descriptions given, one on a bicycle, the other pushing a bike.

When told to stop,  the man jumped on his bike and attempted to flee police, who gave chase.

The man eventually dumped, it, running into the library complex on Main Street where police arrested him after a brief struggle.

Court heard police took over an hour to properly identify Leiser, who provided a number of false names before admitting who he was.  A search of a bag he was carrying revealed a machete.

Vandersluys asked Judge Gregory Koturbash for a jail sentence totalling 224 days followed by 18 months’ probation, noting Leiser had been on probation when he committed the offences.

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson said his client had demonstrated previous resolve to get clean from drugs, noting a three year gap in his criminal record. He said Leiser who is a welder, had a job waiting for him and was ready to reconnect with his family.

“He sees this period in jail as a shameful time. He realizes he has a problem with alcohol and intends to do something about it,” Patterson said, adding defence had little disagreement with Crown’s sentencing request.

“I lost touch with myself. I’m really sorry for what I’ve done,” Leiser said.

Judge Greg Koturbash agreed with Crown’s recommendation for a 224-day jail term followed by 15 months probation, which includes a five-year firearm ban. Leiser will also have to pay $700 in victim surcharge fees.

He urged Leiser to undertake a residential treatment program while in jail.

“Sir, you have some pretty strong demons you’re dealing with. Heroin that’s on the street is really deadly stuff. It’s apparent when you fall off the wagon, you end up doing bad things. I strongly, strongly encourage you to a residential treatment program,” he said.

With time served, Leiser has 21 days remaining in his sentence.

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 © iNFOnews, 2017

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