The teen who was arrested for stealing yogurt at Village Food Markets a few weeks ago was released after a quick trip to provincial court on Oct. 19.
The 16-year-old boy brandished a knife after staff attempted to detain him following the incident on Oct. 16, and was arrested by police the following day.
“Crown council did not go with the robbery charge. They laid charges on possession of a weapon, theft (under $5,000) and assault with a weapon. Plus he he had five outstanding charges of breach of court order conditions and one count of break and enter,” said RCMP Staff Sergeant Steve Wright.
The boy, who can’t be named because of the Young Offenders Act, plead guilty to possession of a weapon, breaking and entering, and two counts of breaching court orders. Everything else was dropped. He is now on intensive support and supervision orders — meaning, for 12 months, he is not allowed to possess any weapons, have any drugs or alcohol in his body, has a curfew from nine p.m. to six a.m., and he has to attend school.
RCMP also made a special request regarding the former foster home runaway.
“He’s not allowed to come back to Sooke,” said Wright. “If he comes back to Sooke he goes to jail.”
The staff sergeant added when someone is arrested for multiple charges, they would be held in jail until their trial date which could take months.
“There’s motivation for guilty pleas to charges. It saves money in terms of a trial, defence saves time in terms of their client spending time in jail so they enter in a plea bargain.”
Sometimes, however, public interest dictates that no deals be made and the defendant be detained. Minors face the same charges as adults, although they typically would not sit in jail as long as adults. There are also different sentencing guidelines for young offenders, said Wright.
“Traditionally they don’t send young people to jail unless they’re violent, and they’ve proven they can’t abide by court order conditions. I would hazard to guess if he breaches these conditions he’ll be going to jail next time.”
Police recommended the charge of robbery because there was an element of violence when he used a weapon to aid in his escape. Otherwise, shoplifting would normally fall under minor theft. Wright was unsure why the cown didn’t pursue it.
“It’s something I’m going to follow up with.”
If you know of a crime that has been committed, call Crimestoppers, you never have to give your name and you may be eligible for a $2,000 reward.
Call: 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).