Judge sentences Penticton woman who went on six month crime spree

Jail time for woman arrested for stealing a van from Penticton Boys and Girls Club amongst other charges.

The judge sentencing a Penticton woman for a crime spree, which included theft from the Penticton Boys and Girls Club, warned that he hopes to never see her face again.

“No offence Ms. Roberts, I really hope we don’t meet again, but it is your choice,” said Judge Brad Chapman.

Megan Anne Roberts’ six month run of criminal activity came to an end in April when she was apprehended after stealing a van from the Penticton Boys and Girls Club. She admitted to breaking into the club on Manitoba Street around 8 a.m. kicking in the door of the office and taking several sets of keys, cell phones and food from the fridge. Roberts then hopped into the club’s Ford Windstar and began to drive away as RCMP pulled up.

Mounties chased after the van but after it ran through three stop signs the officer pulled back because of safety concerns. A gas card stolen from the club was used later that day in Osoyoos and then just a few days later RCMP received a report that a female crashed a van into a parked car on Lakeshore Drive near Winnipeg Street. When RCMP arrived Roberts attempted to flee on foot but was eventually apprehended. She was found in possession of two pills of dilaudid, five grams of methamphetamine, scales with meth residue on it, four gas cards from several businesses, a stolen iPad, eight cell phones, a stolen camera, stolen jewelry and other items. She plead guilty to seven charges on Monday at the Penticton provincial courthouse and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a 9.5-month conditional jail sentence and one year probation. Chapman gave her 60 days credit for the time she has already spent behind bars awaiting sentencing, cutting her sentence in half.

Crown counsel Mallory Treddenick said the crime spree started on Oct. 8, 2012 when she stole a cheque from her aunt and tried to cash it for $750 at the Penticton Money Mart. In November, she was charged with obstruction after being pulled over for not wearing her seat belt by Princeton RCMP. The officer found she was prohibited from driving and while writing up her ticket, Roberts indicated she needed to use a washroom in a nearby coffee shop and then never returned.

On Dec. 6, Roberts took keys out of a locker in the family change room at the Penticton community centre and stole a vehicle, which was recovered later. On Jan. 28 a security officer at the Real Canadian Superstore in Penticton saw Roberts run out of the store with $160 worth of clothing without paying for it. The next month she stole a vehicle from an employer who just hired her in Kelowna and ditched it at the Parkinson Rec Centre. The judge indicated the more serious of her crimes were two residential break and enters that occurred in March in the Greenwood, B.C. area where she stole electronics and jewelry. Chapman explained to Roberts that the Criminal Code of Canada does not take these types of charges lightly and the maximum penalty for this is life in prison, the same penalty given for murder.

Roberts admitted that during the six-month stretch she was using speed and downers every day. The 26 year old, who had no criminal record prior to these instances, expressed remorse for her actions and said she wants to work on getting herself back on track to be closer to her family and three children. Robert’s mother and aunt were both in court Monday to show their support for her.

“I guess it just has been a really long, rough, bumpy road with a lot of self-exploration and a lot guilt,” Roberts told the judge. “I’m really hoping to move towards doing something positive.”

Defence counsel Rod Wark said Roberts had been accepted into a two-year, highly structured drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre. As part of her conditional sentence she is to reside and obey all the rules set out by the Welcome Home Addiction Recovery Program.

A co-accused in the theft from the Penticton Boys and Girls Club, Curtis Sopkow, is scheduled to appear in court on June 12.

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