June 19th, 2024

Thief in break-in uses toilet as shopbreaking tool


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 16, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

When police saw Eric Joel Michaud pushing a shopping cart along the sidewalk on 6 Avenue South downtown, they knew he hadn’t been grocery shopping.
Police were responding to an early morning alarm from the Letourneau law office when they saw Michaud pushing the cart only a short distance away from the law firm. Inside the cart was expensive electronic equipment, and Michaud was immediately suspected of the break-in.
Michaud, 36, was arrested and an investigation revealed he had attempted to force open the front door to the business using a crowbar. That’s not how he got inside, however.
“There was a window beside the door that had been smashed by what appeared to be a toilet,” Crown Prosecutor Bruce Ainscough explained Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court. Ainscough said Michaud found the toilet nearby and smashed the window, through which he gained access to the building.
Michaud, who was caught on video surveillance breaking into the business, had stolen a $1,700 TV, a $1,000 laptop computer and various related power cords and attachments.
“All that was recovered, but there was a significant amount of damage done to the building,” Ainscough added.
Michaud, who court was told has a criminal record and previous convictions for property related offences, as well as convictions for drug trafficking and trafficking in weapons, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of shopbreaking and commit theft, possession of break-in tools, and mischief causing damage. He was sentenced to four months in jail but given credit for the equivalent of 56 days he spent in remand custody since his arrest in March, leaving him with 64 days to serve.
Michaud faces additional charges unrelated to the break-in at the law firm, including shopbreaking, escape lawful custody, and possession of stolen property under $5,000. He returns to court on those matters April 27.

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