One of the three accused in the break-ins of the Berkes Jewellers in 2008 in Hanna and Drumheller pleaded guilty last Friday.
Shane Kurtz, 23, was in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, May 14. He was charged with a number of offenses including break and enter, possession of stolen property and disguise with intent. He originally asked to be tried in Court of Queen’s Bench, but on Friday re-elected to be tried in front of a provincial court judge.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of break and enter.
The court heard that around 11:30 p.m. on December 4, 2008 Hanna RCMP responded to an intrusion alarm at Berkes Jewellers in Hanna. The display cases were smashed and culprits made off with a considerable amount of inventory.
Hours later, culprits punched the lock at the Drumheller Berkes Jewellers, again smashed the displays, took merchandise and departed in a dark-coloured car. Surrounding RCMP detachments were put on alert.
At about 3:30 p.m. Airdrie RCMP made a traffic stop and arrested Kurtz, along with Tyler Schaeffer and Ryan Latrielle. In the car, they recovered merchandise from the stores valued at $40,000.
Kurtz admitted to being part of the break and enters in entering his guilty pleas. He also pleaded guilty to a breach of his release conditions where he failed to report.
The Crown and defense joined in their submission for a global sentence of six months. Judge Shriar accepted the joint submission sentencing Kurtz to five months in custody for each break and enter charge to be served concurrently, and one month for the breach to be served consecutively. Shriar also felt it was important to follow his sentence with one year of probation from the date of his release.
On Friday, May 14, Kurtz’s co-accused Tyler Schaeffer also appeared in provincial court in Drumheller. He is to appear on July 23 for his charges to be spoken to. The third accused, Ryan Latrielle has already dealt with the charges on an earlier date in Calgary.