By Shurtz, Delon on May 9, 2020.
A 31-year-old Calgary man sentenced for stealing nearly $300,000 worth of tires and rims from car dealerships across the province is going to jail for a lot longer than he and his lawyer had hoped.
But it’s still considerably less time than the Crown recommended.
Patrick Francois Rouillard was handed a two-year prison term Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, 18 months more than the six-month maximum defence was seeking. Rouillard was, however, credited for the equivalent of 92 days he has already spent in custody, which will allow him to serve the remaining 21 months in a provincial jail.
The Crown, on the other hand, had recommended a three-year sentence, which, if granted, Rouillard would have had to serve in a federal penitentiary.
Judge Jerry LeGrandeur said the longer sentence would be “unduly long or harsh” for Rouillard, who previously pleaded guilty and did not have any criminal convictions.
“A sentence in the range of two years, followed by one year probation, would serve denunciation and deterrence in the context of these offences just as effectively as would a sentence of three years,” LeGrandeur said.
“A sentence of two years adequately recognizes the inherent gravity of all the included offences. Two years incarceration is, with respect to the offence of the offender, a significant period of incarceration, considering this is the first period of incarceration for this offender.”
LeGrandeur also suggested Rouillard has a good chance for rehabilitation given his remorse, his previous good character and his acceptance of responsibility for his actions.
Rouillard pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to several counts of shopbreaking, theft over $5,000 and trafficking in stolen property. But while he admitted to crimes in Lethbridge, Taber, Calgary, Leduc and Wetaskiwin, his sentencing hearing was adjourned to allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Court was told in January the offences to which Rouillard pleaded guilty began March 8, 2016 when, in a rented U-Haul truck, he stole tires and rims from 10 new vehicles parked at Murray Chevrolet Cadillac in Lethbridge. He also cut the locks on two large sea containers and stole sets of new tires and new and used rims. The value of the stolen items was nearly $60,000.
On May 9 Rouillard cut the lock to a fenced compound at Rocky Mountain Equipment in Lethbridge and stole six pallets of tires and rims worth about $4,500. Then two months later, on July 20, using a U-Haul truck rented in Red Deer, Rouillard cut the fence around the fleet lot of Schwab Pontiac Buick in Leduc and stole nearly $60,000 worth of tires and rims from 13 vehicles. Two days later he was paid $9,700 from an individual for an unknown quantity of stolen property.
Rouillard returned to Lethbridge in October and stole more tires and rims, then on Jan. 19, 2018, he rented a U-Haul trailer in Calgary, drove to Taber and stole $23,000 worth of tires and rims from seven new pickup trucks parked at Legacy Dodge. He also stole $70,000 worth of tires and rims from a dealership in Wetaskiwin in June before returning to Calgary, where police watched him cut a hole in a fence around the compound belonging to Varsity Chrysler.
Rouillard sold stolen tires and rims through his Kijiji account “Tire Guy,” and sold items directly to automotive dealers.
He was finally arrested July 31, 2019 at Canadian Forces Base Suffield northwest of Medicine Hat.
Rouillard will be on probation for one year following his jail term – the Crown recommended three years – and he must submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $20,000 to Murray Chevrolet Cadillac, and nearly $26,000 to EIG insurance.
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