July 23rd, 2024

Man fined for stealing phone while high


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 27, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who was high on drugs when he stole a cell phone from a girl walking home after school earlier this year, has received a $500 fine.

Shortly before 1 p.m, on April 10 the Public Safety Communications Centre received multiple 911 calls from a man who was yelling for help in the area of 9 Avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive South. He refused to provide his exact location, but during the call the PSCC received additional 911 calls from people who reported that a man was yelling and running through yards.

A few minutes later three police officers arrived and found a suspect later identified as Scott Anthony Varhaug.

“Mr Varhaug was highly intoxicated, they believed by drugs, and he appeared to be in a drug-induced psychosis,” Crown Prosecutor Caylene Foley told court.

Police determined Varhaug stole the cell phone he used to call 911. He had approached a girl who was walking home from school and told her to give him the phone, which she did.

Defence explained Varhaug, who also suffers from some mental health issues and was not in the “right state of mind,” needed to use the phone, but left with it and never gave it back.

Varhaug was also fined $100 after he pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to report to probation. He was placed on one-year’s probation in March of 2022 and ordered to report to probation within two days after he was released from custody, but he never did.

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