West Kelowna  

Guilty in gun store robbery

A man who set fire to a home and robbed a West Kelowna hunting store at gunpoint in 2017, stealing 18 guns, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning.

On the afternoon of March 28, 2017, two men with covered faces entered West Kelowna's Antler Creek Outfitters. One man pointed a gun at store owner Larry Wilkins, while David Huck, 25 years old at the time, went behind the counter and stuffed guns into a duffel bag.

The pair made off with 10 revolvers and eight semi-automatic pistols of various calibres and makes, with a total value of more than $13,000.

At one point during the robbery, Wilkins asked the pair why they were robbing him, to which one of them replied: “We've got families to feed.”

The pair made off in a red Ford F-350, which they had stolen earlier that day. The truck was found burning off Gellatly Road shortly after.

Huck was arrested on June 2, 2017, and has remained in custody since. Police determined the second man involved has since died.

The firearm used in the robbery was never recovered, and while Wilkins told police it appeared to be a 1911 ACP .45-calibre handgun, Huck was charged with using an imitation firearm during the robbery, as the gun's authenticity could not be proven.

Just two days before the Antlers Creek robbery, Huck was involved in the arson of home at 1191 Point Peak Drive in West Kelowna. In the early-morning hours of March 26, Huck and another man smashed a front window of the home, which was unoccupied at the time, and threw a jerry can full of gasoline into the home's foyer, before lighting the gas on fire and fleeing the scene.

A suspicious fire occurred at the same home less than two weeks later.

Sixteen months prior, the home at 1190 Peak Point Drive, directly across the street from the home later targeted, was broken into in the middle of the night, and the couple inside were viciously beaten in a case of mistaken identity.

On what was supposed to be the start of a two-week hearing Wednesday, before a four-week jury trial, Huck pleaded guilty to arson, robbery and using an imitation firearm during a robbery. 

The Crown is seeking a six-year sentence for the three convictions. Huck has remained in custody since his arrest, having been denied bail three separate times, and he will be given enhanced presentence credit at 1.5 times for a total of 902 days.

Justice Alison Beames may hand down a sentence later Wednesday.

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