Thief jailed for pulling knife on workers while stealing booze

Jail for pulling knife in store

A Kamloops man who pulled a knife on employees at a downtown liquor store while stealing a bottle of rum has been ordered to spend four months in jail.

Christian Andrew Richard, 35, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday to one count each of theft under $5,000, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, obstructing a peace officer and failure to comply.

Court heard police were called to the Lansdowne Liquor Store in Lansdowne Village on Nov. 5, 2021, for a report of a robbery. An employee told police Richard walked into the store and began attempting to hide bottles of rum inside his clothing.

The employee said she confronted the man and knocked a bottle out of his hands. Another worker blocked the store’s exit to prevent Richard from leaving.

“He had some trouble getting out the door, and then he pulled out a knife,” Crown prosecutor Evan Goulet said in court.

“He told [the employee] to let him out. And then he turned around and pried the door open, taking a bottle of Captain Morgan rum with him.”

Police found Richard nearby with the stolen $47 bottle of rum still in his possession. He was arrested and later released with a court date and conditions prohibiting him from possessing any weapons.

On April 2, 2022, police were called to a parking lot behind a hotel in Sahali for a report of a man armed with a knife threatening someone else. When police arrived, they found Richard with a knife at his feet and another blade in his pocket. He was arrested and provided police with his brother’s name and birthdate, leading to the obstruction charge.

Court heard Richard has 37 prior convictions, including 13 for property-related offences and four for violent offences. He was charged with robbery for the liquor store incident but the Crown accepted a plea to the lesser included offence of theft.

Defence lawyer Eric Rines said Richard is addicted to drugs and has been homeless. He said Richard “hit rock bottom” in April when he was arrested.

Once he’s been given credit for time served, Richard will have about three weeks remaining on his sentence.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey also imposed a one-year probation order with conditions prohibiting Richard from possessing weapons and attending the Lansdowne Liquor Store, among others.

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