Vernon News

Vernon bike thief ordered to pay back full cost of high-end bicycle

A Penticton man who stole a high-end bicycle from outside of the Vernon library has been ordered to pay the entire cost, including tax, of the $4,160.74 bike.

At the Vernon courthouse Dec. 11, Judge Richard Hewson told bike thief Nathan Shearer, that "anything less" would be "glossing over the seriousness of what happened."

The court heard how Shearer had stolen the Specialized bike from outside the Vernon library in September 2018. It appears Shearer cut the lock to steal the bike, which was never recovered.

The 48-year-old appeared in court facing six charges, including the theft of the bicycle and several breaches for failing to appear on court and probation orders and pleaded guilty to the bike theft and two breaches.

Defence lawyer Nicholas Jacob told the court his client lived on a $1,000 a month disability pension and put forward that he pay a $500 restitution order to the owner of the bicycle. That wouldn't be unusual in many cases that actually make it before the court.

However, Judge Hewson didn't buy it.

"It's not my intention to impose an order of Mr. Shearer that he cannot pay," the judge said. "I'm satisfied though that the amount of $4,000 is not an amount that is so far out of Mr. Shearer's ability to pay I should not order it."

The judge ruled Shearer to pay $4,160.74 to cover the price of the bike, the damaged lock, and accessories that had been added to it. The sum also included the tax.

"I expect (Shearer) can find a way to earn the money to pay back the man he stole from," Judge Hewson said. "A person in Vernon should be able to park their bike outside the public library and leave it there while they get a book."

Along with the cash, Shearer was also sentenced to four months house arrest - with the exception to go to work - placed on 18 months probation and required to complete 40 hours of community service. The judge gave Shearer three years to complete the repayments.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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.

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