A Calgary man who was wanted Canada-wide has been sentenced to four months jail and a year of probation after he fled Vernon police in a stolen truck, and using a stolen credit card at a gas station.
Wyatt Reader, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property, flight from police, theft of a vehicle and use of a stolen credit card at the Vernon law courts Tuesday, Feb. 23.
The charges relate to a series of incidents in October 2020, when police officers in Kamloops received reports of a stolen pickup truck in Kamloops. Police in Vernon were also contacted by a woman that same day whose vehicle windows had been smashed and her purse stolen, along with her credit cards.
Two days later, an employee at a Vernon Petro-Canada gas station contacted the police with suspicions about a man who had made several failed attempts to pay with a credit card. Video surveillance at the gas station showed the man getting into a pickup truck, which police later spotted on Highway 6 in Coldstream.
“When the police officer tried to conduct a traffic stop with the suspect vehicle, the driver refused to stop and drove into a dead-end area of a residential subdivision,” media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said Oct. 13.
“The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot in an attempt to evade police,” Terleski said.
A police dog unit was deployed to search the area, and eventually located Reader in some bushes nearby the abandoned pickup truck.
As the court heard Tuesday, Reader suffered multiple dog bites during his arrest and was taken to hospital before being placed in custody. Items seized from the vehicle included the woman’s stolen purse.
In his sentencing, Provincial Court Judge Jeremy Guild took into account Reader’s youth, guilty pleas and history of addiction, as well as his criminal record and the fact that he was on probation at the time of his arrest, which prohibited him from driving.
Reader would have been sentenced to four months in jail but will get out on time served based on the time he has already spent in custody. He faces 12 months probation, under which he has agreed to write an apology letter to the two victims of theft related to his charges. Reader is also prohibited from driving a vehicle without written authorization and must not be in possession of pieces of identification aside from his own.
Reader still has unresolved assault charges in Alberta.
Calgary police issued a Canada-wide warrant in October for Reader on charges of assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats, forcible confinement and five counts of failing to comply with court orders.