June 16th, 2024

Man gets house arrest for stealing money from charity


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on May 22, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Magrath man who stole money from a Raymond business that helps struggling individuals and families, has received a custodial sentence, but he won’t see the inside of a jail.

Jayme Leroy Sheridan, 35, was handed a 90-day conditional sentence Tuesday in Lethbridge court of justice, after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft under $5,000. Instead of jail, however, Sheridan will serve half his sentence under 24-hour house arrest, followed by curfew everyday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the remainder of his sentence.

Sheridan, who was initially charged with robbery and being disguised with intent to commit an indictable offence, walked into the Southern Community Food Security Pantry and Thrift Store at about 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 and began browsing. Sheridan, who was wearing sunglasses and a cloth over part of his face, asked the clerk if there was money in the cash register, to which she replied it only contained the “float.”

“The individual then stated, ‘then give me all the money you’ve got,’ ” Crown Prosecutor Robert Morrison told court.

Sheridan was handed $110 and left the store, but he was caught on video surveillance, the photos and video of which were circulated among police, who then appealed to the public to help identify the culprit. Two individuals, a man who used to work with Sheridan, and Sheridan’s stepdaughter, identified him.

“On Feb. 13 Mr. Sheridan contacted the police and indicated that he was going to turn himself in, and did surrender to the RCMP the next day,” Morrison said.

Sheridan told police he and his wife were short of money and decided to steal it from the Raymond store.

“There was no weapon and no threats made, but from the clerk’s perspective I don’t know that necessarily makes a huge difference; she probably felt like she was being robbed, but I think it was a theft.”

Lethbridge lawyer Justin Dean said Sheridan takes full responsibility for his actions and wrote letters of apology to people impacted by his crime.

During his conditional sentence Sheridan will be on probation and must adhere to several conditions which include that he report to a supervisor, remain in Alberta, and take treatment and counselling for drug abuse and life skills. He is also prohibited from going to the Raymond food security and thrift store.

The charge of being disguised with intent was withdrawn.

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