Stealing fund raising money is thirsty work and it cost him seven months - InfoNews

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Stealing fund raising money is thirsty work and it cost him seven months

May 19, 2015 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A minor indulgence at the crime scene led to the arrest of a man who eventually pleaded guilty to robbing the Kamloops Curling Club of fundraising money, cash floats and alcohol. 

Kamloops Provincial Court Judge Chris Cleaveley sentenced Jeffrey Mark Balmes, 47, today, May 19, after the accused pleaded guilty to stealing more than $2,800 from the club’s safe along with liquor in September 2013.

Charges weren’t laid against Balmes until 11 months later when RCMP received the results of a DNA sampling from two empty liquor bottles left at the scene. The sample matched Balmes’ entry in the national database.

Cleaveley called Balmes’s theft from the community group a “significant break and enter” after learning the accused entered the building from a window and used a crowbar to access the safe.

Crown prosecutor Evan Goulet said the alarms were not tripped when Balmes entered the building.

Acting as an agent for Balmes’s lawyer, Jay Michi said Balmes was plagued by drug addiction at the time.

“I screwed up… went a little stupid,” Balmes said as he addressed the court. “I just want my old life back. This isn’t who I am."

“You better get on the program,” Cleaveley replied. “There comes a point and time where we become less concerned about rehabilitation and more about protecting the community."

Cleaveley sentenced Balmes to seven months in jail for breaking and entering charges. Because Balmes was already serving a conditional sentence at the time of the offence, Cleaveley handed him 28 more days for breaching two of his conditions.

-This story was corrected at 4:57 p.m. May 19 to correct Balmes' charges. His extortion charge was stayed by the Crown. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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