Thief had 119 convictions

A serial thief is serving two more days in jail, but will remain in custody on other charges, after being sentenced for two instances of theft last summer in Penticton.

Ian James Macdonald, 39, was sentenced to time served in custody Monday for two counts of theft under $5,000 and one count of breaching probation.

Macdonald has 119 past convictions including 16 convictions of theft, 18 for possession of stolen property and multiple break and enter convictions. He pleaded guilty to two separate instances of theft in July, 2018. On July 20, 2018 Macdonald stole a phone and speaker from Andre’s Electronics and on July 19 he stole sunglasses a flashlight and roughly $30 in cash from a vehicle at the Sunny Beach Motel. Macdonald was on bail for other charges while committing the offences, court heard.

Judge Michelle Daneliuk sentenced Macdonald to the time he has been in custody since Aug. 8, 2018, plus pre-trial custody credit, and one year of probation, less than the seven month sentence asked for by Crown counsel Ann Lerchs.

Daneliuk commended Macdonald for the programs he has undertaken in custody at the Okanagan Correctional Centre, adding this moment is a “metaphorical fork in the road.”

“As I see it, Mr. Macdonald is there now and he has two choices. He can go on one path and put his words spoken today into action and lead a law-abiding and productive life, or he can take a second path, the previous path he was on and continue to frankly waste most of the rest of his remaining life in jail,” Daneliuk said.

Macdonald holds the dubious honour of being the first Grade 12 graduate out of OCC, and has worked toward getting welding certificates in custody. Defence counsel Michael Patterson said his client is working to change.

“I don’t spend a moment in here not moving forward,” Macdonald told Daneliuk, appearing by video from OCC.

Macdonald was previously a victim of an assault stemming from his criminal activity, Patterson said.

“I do feel terrible, and that comes from my heart because I can empathize, I can understand. I actually in the future will be better,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald is still facing charges of possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and resisting peace officers stemming from incidents in Penticton in August of last year. He is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary inquiry on those charges on Feb. 19.

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