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Man gets house arrest for stealing more than $2,650 worth of items from P.E.I. stores


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A P.E.I. man who went on a theft spree that included stealing 52 cans of lobster from a grocery store was sentenced Friday to serve six months of house arrest.

Jeremy Russell Wagner, 38, appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown where he entered guilty pleas to thefts from four stores in P.E.I.

He previously pleaded guilty to a fifth theft.

Crown attorney Lisa Goulden provided details of the thefts that she said could only be described as a “crime spree.”

The court heard that on March 25, Wagner and a female went to the Superstore in Summerside and stole items that included 52 cans of lobster, which they sold to get money for drugs.

In total, the items were valued at more than $1,550.

Wagner and the same accomplice then went to the Summerside Walmart on March 28 where they stole $30 worth of groceries that weren’t recovered.

On April 1, Wagner was alone when he went to a Shoppers Drug Mart in Charlottetown, took $262.95 worth of razors and set off an alarm as he left the store.

The next day, Wagner went to a Charlottetown Superstore where he stole a TV worth $799.97.

His final theft was on April 26 where he stole an electric welder worth $892.99 from Canadian Tire in Charlottetown before posting it for sale on Kijiji.  

Goulden said the police arrested Wagner on April 27, after which he admitted to stealing to feed his drug addiction.

Wagner spent 46 days in custody before his sentencing.

Defence lawyer Thane MacEachern said Wagner was hopeful that upon his release from jail in March on other matters he would have been able to maintain his sobriety.

But after his release, Wagner didn’t have a place to live and was sleeping on couches belonging to people who used drugs, MacEachern said.

The court heard Wagner now has a place to live and his hope is to get on Suboxone to help treat his drug addiction.

Before hearing his sentence, Wagner apologized to the court.

“Sorry for being a nuisance,” he said.

Douglas ordered Wagner to pay more almost $2,650 in restitution adding to the $37,000 he already owed in fines and restitution from previous offences.

In giving Wagner a conditional sentence, Douglas said it would allow him to maintain his employment as a fisherman.

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