PENTICTON - A Kelowna woman implicated in a crime spree spanning two provinces was sentenced on multiple charges in court today.
Bree-Anne Alicia Buhler entered guilty pleas on 11 charges including three counts of break and enter, one count of theft under $5,000, four breaches, one count of dealing with an identity document without legal excuse, one count of being in a vehicle without the registered owner present, and one count of possession of a controlled substance in Penticton court today, July 24.
Buhler, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, was arrested along with William Gaddy of Osoyoos and Waylon Faulhafer of Scotch Creek in early March, 2016 following a string of break and enters and thefts in both B.C. and Alberta.
Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told court Buhler was with the other two accused men on Jan. 17, 2016, when the three broke into a logging business, a gas station and a private residence in Avola and Clearwater.
Fuel cards were taken from the logging business, while $6,000 worth of merchandise, including a laptop, food and drinks and a wallet and identification was taken from the Avola gas station.
Firearms and tools valued at $8,000 were taken from the private residence.
On Nov. 10, Buhler was caught on video shoplifting from Super Valu in Scotch Creek.
On April 5, 2015, a man reported his one-tonne Dodge truck had been stolen. Police were investigating when they heard of another premise broken into where coins and jewellery had been stolen.
As police continued their investigation, they came across a motor vehicle collision in which Buhler was found in possession of other people’s identification.
She was guilty of several breaches of court orders.
Federal Crown Prosecutor Ginger Holmes said police witnessed Buhler driving erratically, circling the parking lot at South Okanagan General Hospital on March 22, 2015. Investigation revealed a bottle of rum and another bottle, possibly GHB, in the vehicle.
They also found two meth pipes and 17 tablets of Diazepam in Buhler’s purse.
Holmes and Swanson asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a sentence of 15 months and 14 days for the crimes.
Defence lawyer James Pennington said his client had been “running around with Faulhafer and Gaddy” when they took off on their crime spree, heading east to Edson where they took up residence.
Police were looking for Gaddy and spotted him, but when they tried to arrest him, he ran into the house where Buhler and the other man were staying.
“Once they were in there, they were entitled to search, and they found quite a treasure trove of firearms and other such goodies,” Pennington said.
He said Buhler pled guilty to theft of a truck in B.C. while in remand in Edmonton. She was subsequently released and transferred back to Okanagan Correctional Centre, where she has been since April, 2017.
Pennington told the court his client wished to put the matters behind her, attributing her involvement in the crimes as part of a relationship she was in that was “taking her absolutely nowhere.”
He called the crimes a “team effort” noting Buhler did not have much of a criminal record prior to this crime spree. He said she could have gone to trial but wanted to get on with her life.
He asked for a sentence in the six to nine month range.
Judge Sinclair agreed Buhler’s criminal record did not amount to much beyond her involvement in the crime spree, sentencing her to a total of 425 days.
With credit for time served, Buhler has 245 days remaining in her sentence.
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