A woman caught in the act of breaking into community mailboxes was fined $1,000 at provincial court Friday.
Carmen Mosquito was arrested after a police officer interrupted her and one other while they were in the midst of attempting to break into mailboxes in the 900 Block of 12th Avenue West last September.
According to a statement of facts read out in court, at about 5:45 a.m. on Sept. 30, an officer heard the sound of clinking of metal on metal and found two figures dressed in dark clothing fiddling with the mailboxes.
The suspects ran, with Mosquito throwing tools on the ground. The officer, who was alone, could only chase down one of the two suspects. He arrested Mosquito and put her into the back of the police car. He was unable to find the other suspect.
When the officer approached the mailbox, he found paint chips in the area and a coat hanger jammed into the mailbox.
Once she arrived at the police station, Mosquito told police where she put the tools and what she did, Crown prosecutor John Morrall said.
“Breaking into mailboxes is a continued problem,” he told the court.
Since Mosquito had a small criminal record with only a single conditional discharge on her record, and since she had already served time prior to the sentencing and had pleaded guilty early on in the process, the Crown and defence agreed that a fine was the best way forward.
The court heard from the defence that Mosquito, 19, is in the process of obtaining her birth certificate and other ID so that she can go back to school, graduate, get a job and fend for herself.
Her lawyer said she only became involved in the attempted mailbox theft through a family member she was helping out that night. Mosquito, the court heard, had spent “extensive time” in custody.
Mosquito was handed fines of $500 for the charge of mischief and subsequent fines for other charges, including breaching conditions, failing to attend court and possessing break-in tools.
The fines totalled $1,000.
She declined to address the court.
“It’s just dumb to do that,” Judge Schiefner said of breaking into mailboxes.
“Seldom does anyone get anything out of it.”
Prince Albert Police responded to multiple complaints of attempted mailbox thefts last year.
The service put out a press release last April advising residents to check their mail regularly, have it held while they are away and shredding sensitive documents to mitigate concerns surrounding identity theft.
Suspected mail thefts should be reported to the police and to Canada Post. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of identity theft should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Five co-accused of murder due in court June 24
The five people accused of murder in the death of 22-year-old Kristopher Charles will make their next court appearance on June 24.
Gordon Kirkby, defence counsel for Lindsay Rae Hendersen, one of the co-accused, appeared in court Friday to adjourn his client’s proceedings to that date.
The intent is to proceed with all five cases as simultaneously as possible so as to not prejudice each of the cases with the others.
In addition to Hendersen, charges of first-degree murder have been laid against Kenneth Raymond Bear, Emilio Bouvier, Keegan Dustin Eagle and Joseph Ernest Okemaysim.
The charges relate to a March 22 assault at a downtown apartment building. At about 3 p.m., police and paramedics responded to an assault in progress.
When they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man in critical condition. He was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The victim and the suspects are allegedly known to each other.