Okanagan car thief gets two year prison sentence | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan car thief gets two year prison sentence

Vernon Courthouse
January 08, 2019 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - An Okanagan man will be spending almost two years in prison after a two-day theft spree in 2018 that raced through Vernon, Lavington, Lumby, Nakusp and New Denver.

Daniel Connell, 27, received his sentence for numerous theft and dangerous operation of motor vehicles charges stemming from two major incidents in March and May of last year. Judge McParland handed down the sentence.

According to court documents, Connell was sentenced to 540 days in prison for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and 377 days for theft of a motor vehicle (minus 214 days for time already served). These sentences will be served consecutively, totalling 702 days.

Connell also received numerous sentences for possession of stolen property and other thefts of vehicles, but these terms are to be served concurrently with his main sentence. The court ordered Connell to pay over $5,000 in restitution to his victims.

During his guilty plea hearing last month, Connell, who had no previous criminal record, admitted his addiction to methamphetamine led him down a destructive and paranoid path. On Mar. 17, 2018, he began his first theft spree by stealing a truck in Lavington after dousing its driver with bear spray. Later in the day he stole a tractor trailer and abandoned it at a Petro Canada in Vernon.

Connell started his second spree on May 1 by stealing a logging truck Nakusp. He hopped from stolen car to stolen car throughout the day before police nabbed him in Pass Creek by stopping his latest vehicle with a spike belt.

Once he's out of prison, Connell will face a two-year driving prohibition.

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