June 16th, 2024

Unusual car theft earns man jail sentence


By Delon Shurtz on June 8, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A rather unusual car theft has netted a Lethbridge man a stint in jail.
Donald Eldridge, 28, was sentenced to 90 days in jail for stealing a Nissan Murano last fall. The owner of the vehicle was at Bullys Casino Oct. 7 and left his jacket unattended on a chair for a few minutes. When he returned his jacket was gone, as well as his car keys that were in one of the pockets.
The man went to his car, and realized it was running. He stepped on the accelerator, which turned the vehicle off and indicated to the owner that the key fob was not nearby.
Somewhat confused by the strange circumstances, the owner went home for a second set of keys, but when he returned, his car was gone.
Police found the abandoned vehicle the following day, and video surveillance showed Eldridge taking the jacket and stealing the car. He turned himself over to the police and gave them a full confession.
Eldridge pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of motor vehicle theft, and although sentenced to 90 days in jail, he was given credit for 36 days spent in pre-trial custody.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of shoplifting and was sentenced to 21 days in jail, which he will serve concurrently with his other sentence.
Court was told Eldridge stole a $360 jacket from Marks Work Warehouse on Jan. 17 of this year. When police, who recognized Eldridge from video footage, went to his home, he was still wearing the clothes he had on during the theft. He returned the jacket and apologized.
Lethbridge lawyer Greg White explained his client had, at the time, relapsed from a drug addiction, but he was back on the road to recovery.

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