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Vernon News

No jail for Vernon man whose crime spree caused $17,000 in damage


A Vernon man that went on a crime spree smashing windows and robbing businesses downtown won't do jail time.

Jordan Andrew Penner caused $17,500 of damage when in October 2021 he broke into four businesses over the course of one night.

However on March 20 at the Vernon courthouse, provincial court Judge Paul Dohm sentenced the 34-year-old to house arrest with a curfew.

"I have given you a bit of a break," Judge Dohm told Penner. "Some judges may have put you in jail, I haven't."

The Crown had asked for nine to 12 months jail.

The court heard how in October 2021, Penner smashed and robbed four separate downtown businesses from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.

It's unclear what he would have done with the dozens of designer glasses frames he stole that were valued at $7,500, but he caused $6,000 of damage to the optometrist shop he stole them from.

About an hour later he smashed another window at a Vernon cafe, but only stole baked goods. The CCTV footage showed other people coming into the cafe a while later, stealing an iPad, cash and a debit machine.

Penner's lawyer Jonathan Avis told the court his client didn't know what he would have done with the stuff he stole.

A further break-and-enter netted him three backpacks, and he pilfered an iPad and a drill set from another business.

However, before the night was over, Vernon RCMP were already looking at CCTV footage from businesses and he was picked up and arrested first thing that morning.

Cody Alan Macdonald was also arrested after the crime spree and charged. Last November, he pleaded guilty and received a sentence of time already served. He'd spent 45 days in custody.

Following his arrest, Vernon RCMP put out a media release saying the crime spree had a significant impact on the businesses.

While Penner ended up with 13 charges the court heard how he was technically a first-time offender.

His lawyer told the court Penner suffered from depression and mental health issues and had an opioid addiction.

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The court heard how his bail conditions had prevented him from attending treatment, because of restrictions about where he lived.

While his bail restrictions had been changed this had only taken place last month.

"It would actually help a lot if he was actually in treatment," Judge Gohm said.

The judge said it was a "tough decision" deciding whether Penner should do jail time.

"Sending you to jail would certainly make some people happy," he said.

However, the judge pointed to Penner's lack of previous criminal record and that he'd largely stayed out of trouble while on bail – although he'd been caught stealing headphones from Superstore.

"I am completely remorseful, it's not me," Penner told the judge. "I was at a low... I wish it hadn't happened, I'm not happy with myself."

Ultimately, Judge Dohm sentenced Penner to one year of house arrest with a curfew from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

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The judge also stipulated Penner would have to undergo treatment if his house arrest supervisor ordered him to take it.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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