Crown tells thief, 'You're not very good' at stealing for a living

Brandon John Arsenault, 22, sentenced to five months in jail

Staff ~ The Guardian
Published on February 12, 2014
Scales of justice

A 22-year-old Charlottetown man who committed more than a dozen thefts in Charlottetown and Summerside over the space of several months was sentenced Wednesday in provincial court to serve five months in the provincial correctional centre.

Brandon John Arsenault entered guilty pleas to thefts in the Charlottetown area at Needs Convenience, Canadian Tire, Most Wanted, Walmart, Toys R Us, Best Western Charlottetown, Shoppers Drug Mart, Stratford Video, Jumbo Video and Target.

He also pleaded guilty to thefts in Summerside at Peoples Jewellers and Canadian Tire.

Some businesses were hit more than once and there were also thefts from individuals.

Crown Counsel Gerald Quinn advised Arsenault to seek a new career path because his track record as a criminal was dismal.

"You steal a lot of things but you're not very good at it," Quinn said.

The items stolen during Arsenault's crime spree included, among other things, a laptop computer, a gold chain worth almost $4,000, video gaming systems, videogames, bottled water, bottles of cranberry cocktail, a media player, a tablet computer, headphones, a laptop charger, boots, cosmetics, a cheque and at least two cell phones.

In addition to the theft charges Arsenault pleaded guilty to charges of breach of probation, damage to property and failing to yield for police.

Arsenault was on probation when all of these offences were committed.

Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr sentenced Arsenault to identical sentences of five months on each count.

On all but four of the charges he pleaded guilty to Arsenault must pay victims of crime surcharges ranging from $100 to $200.

Upon release from the correctional centre he will be placed on probation for three years.

While on probation he must pay restitution totaling more than $3,700 to those he stole from and write letters of apology

He must also pay over $2,000 in victims of crime surcharges.

Orr prohibited Arsenault from having any contact with several people with whom he had been associating during his crime spree.

She advised the accused to find employment or continue his education.

The court was told that Arsenault had become addicted to drugs after suffering a sports injury for which he was prescribed strong painkillers.

His addiction, coupled with stress brought on by the loss of his employment and his girlfriend, contributed to his falling in with the wrong crowd.

Arsenault is hoping his time in custody will help him deal with his addictions issues and turn his life around.

Orr told the accused that things will not get better for him until he gains control of his addictions.

Arsenault was also told that should he come back before the court charged with another criminal offence he will be looking at a lengthy period of time in custody, given the criminal record he now has.