Feeble attempt at theft lands man $500 fine

A silly and unsophisticated attempt at theft from a High Prairie business has landed a Moose Jaw, SK man a big fine and a criminal record.

Steven Joseph Locke, 36, was found guilty of shoplifting under $5,000 in Slave Lake Court of Justice Nov. 15.

Locke did not attend court and had his lawyer, Michael Stalker, enter a guilty plea on his behalf.

Court heard the charge arose July 30 at High Prairie Peavey Mart. Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu told court video footage showed Locke opening a vacuum box and putting power tools and other items into it. He then went to the till and purchased the vacuum. In all, $2,228.97 worth of merchandise was stolen.

Later, an owner of another Peavey Mart identified Locke from the video. The High Prairie RCMP arrested Locke, but the stolen items were not recovered.

Locke’s lawyer and the Crown recommended a $500 fine and paying restitution to High Prairie Peavey Mart. Reasons cited were the very early guilty plea and an unrelated criminal record.

Stalker told court his client has graduated from high school and attended some trade school. He has worked as an oil rig tech, but is currently unemployed.

After his arrest, Stalker spent some time in custody on the charge and other matters. During that time, he attended anger management education and did some high school upgrading to go to college.

When Locke committed the crime, he was on a conditional sentence order for trafficking drugs, court heard.

“This was planned conduct, clearly,” said Justice R.B. Marceau during sentencing, noting that for shoplifting convictions, a sentence on the “higher end” was in order.

Locke was fined $500 plus a $50 victim fine surcharge and ordered to pay restitution of $2,228.97. If he doesn’t pay the fine, he’ll spend five days in jail. He was given six months to pay the fine.

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