The co-accused involved in theft from the Penticton Boys and Girls Club in April plead guilty to charges on Monday.
Curtis Anthony Sopkow entered guilty pleas to theft under $5,000 and possession of methamphetamine for which he will serve 74 days in jail. Defence counsel for the 32-year-old man asked for house arrest.
“Given Mr. Sopkow’s lengthy record and the facts of circumstances of the charges, these are not in my view in conditional sentence land,” said Judge Gale Sinclair. “I am not satisfied he is not a danger nor am I not satisfied he should be sitting in jail for a long, long time.”
On April 3 Penticton RCMP received a call that a Ford Windstar, which later was identified as the vehicle stolen from the Boys and Girls Club, had struck a car on Lakeshore Drive and its two occupants had fled the scene on foot. Mounties located a male, later identified as Sopkow, walking near Westminster Avenue East carrying a backpack. RCMP found 15 different vehicle keys in the backpack and in a second bag witnesses saw Sopkow stash away they found a cutting torch with canister, tools, gloves, a laptop, camcorder, several cameras, two watches and 103 keys on four different key chains. Some of the property Sopkow had in the bags was identified as stolen from a recent break and enter. He also had two small bags of methamphetamine and a glass pipe in his possession.
Co-accused Megan Anne Roberts was sentenced in June for the break and enter into the Boys and Girls Club on Manitoba Street. Mounties chased after the stolen van from the club but had to pull back because of safety concerns after the driver ran through three stop signs. The judge at her court date heard Roberts arrest put an end to a six-month crime spree that involved several thefts. Roberts admitted she was using drugs every day and was sentenced for all her charges, including the Boys and Girls Club theft, to 120 days in jail, a 9.5-month conditional sentence and one year probation. She was given 60 days credit for the time she has already spent behind bars. Other charges pressed on Sopkow related to the Boys and Girls Club theft were stayed. Crown counsel Mallory Treddenick said Roberts had taken the Boys and Girls Club decals off of the van, therefore it could not be proven that Sopkow had knowledge it was stolen.
Sopkow also had outstanding charges from March 21 which he plead guilty to including theft under $5,000 stemming from an incident in Summerland. RCMP caught up to Sopkow who was identified by a witness as the driver of a Toyota Camry that was parked nearby. Sopkow told the officer he was waiting for a ride but when plates for the parked Camry were checked they did not match the vehicle, which was actually stolen from Kelowna a few days earlier. Sopkow was searched by RCMP and the keys for the stolen Camry were found on him. The judge sentenced Sopkow to 96 days in jail and time served on this set of circumstances as he has been in jail waiting for court.
Sopkow appeared by video and told the judge he wants to return to a drug rehabilitation program he previously had success with. He will be under probation for one year once he is released and among his conditions he is not to have any contact with Roberts and not to be in possession of tools that could be used for breaking into a house or vehicle with the exception of work.