Reduced sentence for Vernon man caught rummaging through car

Vernon Courthouse

VERNON - A Vernon man who was arrested two years ago by a citizen — who then took a selfie that went viral on social media — found himself back in court today for sentencing.

Mitchell Sakowski, 27, appeared via video at Vernon Provincial Court today, Dec. 12, to plead guilty to charges of mischief and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

Judge Monica McParland said in sentencing that a woman reported someone rummaging through her car in Vernon on Sept. 17, 2018. Video footage of the incident revealed Sakowski as the perpetrator. On Oct. 9, a police officer recognized Sakowski walking along the street and detained him. A small baggie of cocaine was found on Sakowski's person. He has been in custody for two months.

Sakowski said his drug addiction led him to rummage the car. He apologized for his actions.

"I plan to get some help and see counsellors about my addiction problems," he said. "I'm starting to get tired with this life."

"You need to get to the underlying problem," Judge McParland said.

The Crown was looking for 60 days in prison for the charges. Judge McParland stated the sentence seemed excessive for mischief and possession charges. She noted that such a long sentence could negatively impact the court system's perception of Sakowski were he to face future charges.

"Your record should reflect the seriousness of your conduct," she said.

McParland sentenced Sakowski to 21 days in prison — time served.

Sakowski achieved notoriety two years ago when he stole a jacket and a Vernon citizen detained him, taking a selfie in the process and creating a minor viral hit.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 


Atlas the missing golden retriever became a celebrity last week. His owner offered a $5000 for his safe return.
Rewards for missing pets occupy legal grey zone
KELOWNA - John Brooke was walking in the woods near Glenrosa two weeks ago when his dog Gus went missing. Brooke said he lost sight of his dog and spent the next two hours whistling for him to no avail. Brooke said there were fresh truck tracks i

Top News