Thief detained in Vernon citizen's arrest finally getting help for drug addiction - InfoNews

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Thief detained in Vernon citizen's arrest finally getting help for drug addiction

Kevin Barkhouse said a felt a 'selfie was completely in order' during the citizen's arrest.
Image Credit: Kevin Barkhouse
May 16, 2017 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - A thief apprehended in a very public citizen’s arrest last year was sentenced to time served this week in Vernon Provincial Court.

Mitchell Sakowski, 26, was caught last December wearing a recently stolen ski jacket. The owner of the jacket, Vernon resident Kevin Barkhouse, detained him until police arrived. He also took a selfie, which went viral.

Sakowski was charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of a break-in instrument (bolt cutters) and dealing with an identity document without lawful excuse (four of Barkhouse’s stolen identification cards were found on him.)

Crown counsel Juan O’Quinn said Sakowski has a ‘bit of a record.’ Since 2014, Sakowski has racked up convictions for break-and-enter, possession of stolen property, fraud and theft.

Sakowski has been in custody since his arrest on Dec. 19, 2016.

Defence counsel Glen Skobalski said Sakowski did not finish high school. He has worked on and off over the years, but has not had a steady job. He struggles with drug addiction.

Skobalski said that in 2015, after a stint in jail for a previous offence, arrangements were made for Sakowski to travel to a treatment centre. While Skobalski was assured at the time that Sakowski would be picked up from the bus depot in Kamloops, that didn’t happen as scheduled. Sakowski made his way from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre to the bus depot but no one was there.

“They didn’t show up, until the next morning,” Skobalski says. “Well, by then Mr. Sakowski had met up with some buddies.”

A bed is waiting for Sakowski at a treatment centre in Kelowna and this time, he'll make it there. His lawyer said if a family member can't give Sakowski a lift, he would do so himself. 

Because of the time Sakowski has been in jail awaiting sentencing, he was sentenced to time served and will go straight to the treatment centre. He’s also on probation, with conditions, for a year.


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