West Kelowna  

Year in jail for mail thefts

One half of a criminally inclined couple will spend another 205 days behind bars after pleading guilty Wednesday to a slew of mail-theft related charges.

Julian Hoekstra and his then-girlfriend, Kristina Anderson, were arrested in December following months of mail thefts throughout West Kelowna, Peachland and Summerland.

Anderson pleaded guilty to five charges earlier this month, and was sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison.

During her sentencing, Anderson's lawyer said he considered the couple a “kind of Bonnie and Clyde.”

While Hoekstra initially planned to face trial, he pleaded guilty Wednesday, and his defence counsel and the Crown put forth a joint submission on sentencing, which Justice Gale Sinclair agreed with.

Hoekstra pleaded guilty to one count of stealing mail stemming from a December 2016 incident in Peachland in which a tracking device in the mail led police to them.

Additionally, he pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen credit card from the mail in October 2017 on which he racked up more than $3,400 in charges.

The most recent conviction stems from the couple's recent arrest, when police found them on a rural property above Peachland on Dec. 16, 2017, living in a stolen $37,000 RV. The campfire Hoekstra was sitting around was being fuelled by stolen mail, and there was more mail inside the RV.

Justice Sinclair noted Hoekstra was convicted of identity theft in November 2015, which led him to give Hoekstra two more months of jail time than Anderson.

In the 1990s, Hoekstra was married, had two children and was employed as a truck driver, but his lawyer, Jordan Watt, said his life took a turn after his wife was killed in a car crash in 1997, and his adopted father died two years later.

“In the following years, he found it harder to keep things together,” Watt said. “He got involved in substance use, misuse, and the habit to crystal methamphetamine turned into a severe addiction.”

Hoekstra and Anderson are no longer together. 

With enhanced credit for time served, Hoekstra will spend another 205 days in jail, followed by a year of probation.

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