Thief jailed after striking twice at Penticton retirement home

Penticton woman sentenced to 45 days in jail after pleading guilty to thefts from a Penticton retirement home and local stores.

A woman caught stealing twice in four days from the parking area below a Penticton retirement home was handed a 45-day jail sentence this week.

Besides admitting to her role in the thefts at Athens Creek Retirement Lodge, Kelly Nicole McGinn, 25, also pleaded guilty to shoplifting from a pair of local stores.

She was credited with 34 days’ time served since her last arrest, and once released from jail will be on probation for one year under terms of the sentence handed down by Judge Gale Sinclair in provincial court in Penticton.

Court heard McGinn was arrested Nov. 11 after she was spotted on surveillance video with two men leaving the Warren Avenue retirement home’s parking garage with a bucket full of power tools taken from a maintenance workshop.

Police later found door handles had been broken on entrances to the garage and workshop.

Only four days earlier, McGinn was busted after being caught “rummaging through a vehicle” inside the parking area, “and was escorted from the building,” said Crown counsellor Nashina Devji, adding the vehicle owner later reported a cell phone was missing from his car.

McGinn also had a run-in with the law on June 2, when staff at Winners reported to RCMP that she was acting suspiciously in the store’s change room area. Devji said that when police arrived, they spotted McGinn in the parking lot crouched behind a car, where Winners clothing tags were found.

Then, on July 8, a loss-prevention officer at London Drugs called Mounties after McGinn took about $100 worth of products into a store washroom, removed the items from their packaging, and left with them, Devji recounted.

Defence counsel James Pennington said his client became addicted to painkillers following a car accident several years ago, and more recently got hooked on heroin.

He said McGinn didn’t apply for bail in November since she viewed her incarceration at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge as a “golden opportunity to come clean.”

“This is the first time in six years she is off heroin and all other drugs, and she’s now beginning to feel human again,” said Pennington.

McGinn told the court she intends to live with her parents in Kamloops following her release from jail. Under the terms of her probation order, she’s banned from being within 50 metres of Winners or London Drugs, having contact with four people she was with during the crimes, and from using any non-prescription drugs.