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Prolific Okanagan property crimes offender looking for rehabilitation

A man with a substance abuse problem will serve time as he looks for treatment options for his addictions following sentencing for possession of stolen property in Penticton Court on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
October 29, 2015 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - A man with a lengthy list of property convictions who 'never got a break' will serve 56 more days in jail for his latest string of criminal activity.

Harley J. Barich appeared in Penticton court Tuesday, Oct. 27, pleading guilty to charges of possession of property obtained by crime.

Osoyoos RCMP were notified of a stolen Chevrolet Blazer and trailer from an Osoyoos residence overnight on Aug. 8, 2015, Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court. The truck and trailer were spotted by police at the Oliver 7-Eleven the following day. Police approached Barich, who was filling a jerry can with gas at the time, and arrested him.

A search of the truck revealed two backpacks with a screwdriver, gloves, tools suitable for use in a break and enter, a small amount of what appeared to be crystal meth and a cell phone.

Barich was released on a promise to appear.

On Aug. 25 the property manager at 3301 Skaha Lake Rd. notified police of a broken back window in a white Dodge pickup parked in the property’s parking garage. The owner of the vehicle reported a missing blue gym bag and a wallet.

A store’s surveillance video showed a man matching Barich’s description using credit cards from the wallet, while police identified fingerprints from the vehicle as those matching Barich’s. He was subsequently re-arrested on Aug. 25, and has remained in custody by consent ever since.

Froehlich recited some of Barich’s lengthy criminal history, which included 10 break and enter convictions, nine stolen property convictions, four theft convictions, and two mischief convictions.

He also noted Barich’s latest theft took place only 16 days after being released on a promise to appear, calling on Judge Meg Shaw to hand down a five-month jail term and 24 months probation.

Defence lawyer James Pennington noted Barich did not originally seek release on his first arrest, telling court his client suffered from a substance abuse problem. He said Barich was seeking a treatment facility where he could get help for his addictions, adding his client had 'never been given a break,' as throughout his life he had been subject to jail time instead of a conditional sentence and the opportunity to seek treatment.

The 32-year-old Barich, appearing by video, told Judge Shaw he saw his life as 'like watching a car crash in slow motion.'

“I’m smart enough to know what the problem is, but I still get into trouble,” he said, blaming his addictions.

He said he hoped to get some structure in his life through participation in a drug rehabilitation program.

Barich was given 96 days credit for time already served. He will also serve an additional 56 days, in addition to 24 months of probation, on three counts of possession of stolen property, with the sentences to run concurrently. He is also subject to $300 in victim surcharges.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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