July 16th, 2024

City man pleads guilty to multiple offences

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 3, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who managed to get away from police in a stolen pickup truck, wasn’t so lucky when he tried to flee a second time on foot.

At about 8:50 p.m. on June 19 of this year Coaldale RCMP, who responded to a report of a suspicious motor vehicle, attempted to pull over a Ford F150 that had been stolen from Barnwell and was driven by Brendan James Taylor. Taylor refused to stop, however, and sped off, nearly colliding with a parked vehicle and endangering civilians with his reckless driving.

RCMP last saw the vehicle speeding on Highway 512 toward Lethbridge, but Lethbridge police found it several hours later parked at Taylor’s residence in the 1100 block of 40 Avenue North. As two officers approached the home they saw Taylor walking toward the truck while carrying a golf club. When told he was under arrest he swung the golf club then took off into his backyard. He didn’t get far.

“Police service dog Aron was deployed and he gripped the accused on the lower left leg preventing him from being able to exit the yard,” Crown Prosecutor Rachel Poelzer said Thursday in Lethbridge court of justice, where Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property over $5,000, flight from police and failure to comply with release conditions.

Poelzer pointed out that at the time of the offence, Taylor was bound by a release order that he not be in a motor vehicle without the registered owner.

Taylor also pleaded guilty to three more charges of possession of stolen property, and single charges of shopbreaking/commit theft, carrying a concealed weapon, theft under $5,000, and failure to comply with a release order.

Shortly after midnight on Dec. 20, 2021 Taylor and several other individuals broke into a downtown salon through a door that provided private access to upper suites and the rear of businesses. The group of people went into the basement and pried open the door to the salon, where they stole a small amount of money and other items worth hundreds of dollars.

In an unrelated incident at about 5 a.m. on Sept. 30 of the following year, a police officer saw Taylor and another man in the 1200 block of 31 Street North leaving the parking lot of a construction business and carrying three bags. The bags contained various power tools, some of which had been stolen from the business.

Less than two months later, on Nov. 4, Taylor was caught with a mountain bike that had been stolen two weeks earlier.

Then on Jan. 13 of this year, at about 9:40 a.m., Taylor and a woman were in a residential alley on the northside where Taylor acted as lookout while the woman stole a large box that had just been delivered to a home and left on the front porch. She returned to Taylor in the alley and opened the box which contained cat food and kitty litter worth about $95. Taylor put the cat food in his duffel bag and discarded the kitty litter in another alley.

About three weeks later police responded to a report of a sudden death, but police were unable to find any identification, cell phone or wallet on the body. Police determined the man had driven his truck into Lethbridge a day earlier and hadn’t been heard from since.

Police found the truck three days later in the 100 block of 12 Street South. They had seen Taylor, who was a suspended driver, driving the truck with a female passenger. During a search subsequent to his arrest, police found a collapsible baton in his pocket.

The following day Taylor was released from police custody with conditions he not have any weapons, but on April 19, 2023 he was seen carrying a machete and police were notified. An officer saw Taylor, who had the machete attached to his back, and other individuals walking along Stafford Drive South, and when he told Taylor not to reach for the machete, Taylor attempted to grab it with his left hand.

“Const. Kanyo intercepted the action and was able to grab it and pull it away from the accused,” Poelzer said.

Taylor was arrested and found to also be in possession of a folding knife.

Although Taylor pleaded guilty to all the charges Thursday, sentencing was adjourned to allow time for the preparation of a Gladue report, which applies certain principles used by judges to consider the unique circumstances, experiences and challenges of Indigenous people, such as colonization and racism, that continue to impact their lives.

The matter is scheduled to return to court in a week, when a date will be set for sentencing.

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