A Penticton man caught siphoning gas at the U-Haul compound had over $150 in his pocket and is spending the next month and a half in jail.
Kent Tough, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of breaking and entering during a court appearance originally scheduled for trial on Oct. 12 in Penticton Provincial Court.
On Jan. 14 just after midnight Penticton RCMP member noted a brown pick-up truck at the Co-op gas station on Main Street and spoke to Tough, who said he had run out of gas. The gas station was closed and Tough indicated he was going to grab a container and get gas at another location.
Nearly 45 minutes later, a witness contacted police after watching a male enter the U-Haul compound at Industrial Court through a pre-existing hole in the fence.
Police attended and observed the same truck near the U-Haul compound. Police observed a white hose coming out of the gas tank of a cube truck and leading into a jerrycan. Tough was located hiding under the cube truck and co-operated when he was told he was under arrest.
“He had money in his pocket at the time he was arrested and this was definitely a bad choice on his part,” said Michael Patterson, Tough’s defence counsel, who argued for a suspended sentence for his client. “It is possible for Mr. Tough to remain law abiding and remain gainfully employed.”
Patterson was referencing a construction job Tough said he had waiting for him when he was released from custody.
Tough has five prior convictions for possession of stolen property and one prior for theft.
“I would just like to apologize to the court. Looking back on it, I should have found another way. The gas station was closed. I should have walked, or got a cab or somehow found another way to a gas station that was open,” Tough said.
Tough, who is serving a sentence for the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and flight from police in June, was set to be released on Oct. 17, but is serving an extra 45 days in jail for the break-in. Tough faces a 12-month probation with a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the first six months after his release.