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Longtime serial shoplifter sentenced; judge hopes whoever was buying the stolen goods will be arrested too

James Glasco and Amanda Maher are shown in court in St. John’s in 2019. Glasco was sentenced on dozens of shoplifting charges in court Friday. Maher also faces charges. TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO
James Glasco, pictured in Provincial Court in 2019 with his girlfriend Amanda Maher on robbery charges for which they were later acquitted, was sentenced Friday to more than 2 1/2 years in jail for a series of thefts. Maher was charged as a co-accused on some of the shoplifting offences, as was another man whose charges are still before the court. - File photo

A longtime serial shoplifter was sentenced in provincial court in St. John's Friday morning, with the judge admonishing not only him, but whoever was buying the stolen goods from him.

James Glasco, 47, was sentenced on more than five dozen charges of theft under $5,000 and breaching court orders related to thefts from businesses in the St. John's area between May 2019 and August 2020. The businesses included Walmart, Sportchek, ToysRUs, Chatters Salon, Pipers, various supermarkets and gas stations convenience stores, Outfitters, Shoppers Drug Mart, West 49 and Fabricville - from which he stole two comforter sets.

In some cases, Glasco stole thousands of dollars of merchandise in one go. He was arrested at least 29 times and released, in most cases, on conditions to await a court date.

Judge James Walsh sentenced Glasco to just over 2 1/2 years behind bars and gave him credit for 573 days on remand. Glasco has a little over a year left on the sentence and will be bound by certain orders — including a ban from Walmart stores — once he's released.

The court heard Glasco, who has a lengthy criminal record spanning decades, has been dealing with opioid addiction for the past 20 years; Walsh said whoever was buying the items Glasco was stealing was serving to enable him and deserves to be arrested as well.

Two other people were charged as co-accused in some of the thefts: William Glasco, who will make his next court appearance later this month, and Amanda Maher, James Glasco's longterm girlfriend.

On a number of occasions over the past two years, the court has ordered Glasco and Maher to have no contact with each other; a condition they have been charged with violating multiple times. In 2019, the couple went to trial on charges stemming from an armed robbery at a centre-city gas station and were both acquitted after the judge said there wasn't enough evidence to establish Glasco as the robber captured on surveillance footage nor to prove Maher, who had admitted being in the store before the thief entered, had any knowledge of the crime.

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