Prolific Penticton thief who threatened civilians with a hatchet sentenced to 10 months behind bars

Threatening thief gets jail

A prolific Penticton thief will spend a little less than nine more months behind bars for breaking and entering, and threatening to kill two civilians.

Shane Pope, well-known to the police, appeared in Penticton Provincial Court via video from custody Friday to plead guilty and learn his sentence.

Court heard that on April 7, 2022, police received a report that someone had broken into a parking garage on Waterford Avenue in Penticton.

Video surveillance showed a man arriving on a bicycle, gaining access to the building with a crowbar, smashed a car’s window and rummaged through a car.

It also clearly showed Pope’s face, and RCMP recognized him as a prolific property thief in the area they have dealt with often.

He was arrested April 18, then released on April 19.

On July 20, 2022 he was arrested again for uttering threats in the downtown area.

According to a witness, Pope was in a group of transient individuals using drugs under a transformer near her home in a residential building.

When her partner came home from work, they went together and approached the group and asked them not to use drugs there, and to move along.

A man later identified as Pope became angry, pulling out a baseball bat, using it to smash the top of the transformer box and then retrieving a hatchet from his bag.

Pope approached the male civilian with the weapon and threatened to kill him his partner if they followed him.

He then retreated, and the pair followed Pope while calling police, until he was arrested. He was later released.

Most recently, on Mar. 1 he was arrested again after he failed to attend court and was arrested on a warrant, where he has been ever since.

Pope has a long history of property offences, 20 in total, including 11 different stolen property convictions, five thefts and two break-and-enters.

“It's aggravating in my submission that these two civilians who are simply asking transit people to move along and not do drugs. The residents are threatened and the production of a weapon accompanying that,” said Crown lawyer Kurt Froehlich.

Pope said he has been doing work programs while incarcerated, and that he understands what he did was wrong.

“I just want to say that my actions were unacceptable and I would like to apologize to [the victims I threatened],” Pope said.

The defence asked for six to eight months in jail, while the Crown argued for 10 months given his history of repeat behaviour.

The judge agreed, sentencing him to 10 months in total for both offences, as well as a no-contact order for the two people he threatened, the manager of the parking garage and the owner of the car he rummaged through, and a ban on possessing common break-in tools and weapons during his subsequent two-year probation period.

With credit for time already served, 38 days, Pope will spend fewer than nine more months locked up.

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