An Ontario man went on what the Crown described as a "crime spree" in June, rummaging inside unlocked vehicles in Lunenburg and Queens counties, taking compact discs, bank cards, tobacco and other items.
Cory Lee Oickle's sustained criminal activity came to a halt in Bridgewater on June 22 when the municipal police department pulled over the Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle he was in, which had been stolen two days before from a mall parking lot in Guysborough County.
Oickle, 37, admitted to four counts of theft and one count of possessing stolen property in connection to incidents in this region. He also pleaded guilty to an additional three charges of possessing stolen property and one count of auto theft pertaining to circumstances in other jurisdictions.
He was recently sentenced in a Halifax court and the Crown laid out the facts of the case.
The same day of Oickle's arrest, a woman reported her wallet was taken from an unlocked vehicle and bank cards with the tap feature were used to make $92 worth of alcohol purchases from a Lunenburg liquor store.
Inside the Highlander, police found the keys to a Mazda vehicle reported stolen June 18 from a carpool parking lot in the Liverpool area and later recovered in Milton.
Authorities also recovered a man's wallet stolen June 19 from a vehicle at a Tantallon area gas station, but two packs of cigarettes and $350 in cash were missing.
A purse and bank cards taken from an unlocked vehicle in the Chester area - also on June 19 - were also found in the Highlander. A debit card with the tap feature was used to make three purchases totalling $174. A Go-Pro camera taken was pawned in Bridgewater the day before Oickle's arrest.
Also inside the Highlander were bank cards - used to make over $100 in purchases- from a wallet taken June 20 from a vehicle in Antigonish.
Compact discs, cash and documents were taken June 21 from a vehicle in Garden Lots, near Lunenburg. Some of those items were also found in the Highlander.
The crimes in Nova Scotia started June 12 when the occupant of a stolen white van with an Ontario plate made off with a Chevrolet Silverado from a mall parking lot in the Tantallon area.
That Silverado stopped for $90 worth of gas at a service station in New Germany in mid-June and the driver left without paying. Two days later, Oickle was seen pulling a vehicle into a Mahone Bay brewery parking lot and taking chewing tobacco, medication, key chains and other items from unlocked vehicles in the lot.
Oickle's defence attorney indicated his client spiralled into a drug and alcohol addiction following a failed relationship and business venture. Oickle met up with a new girlfriend, who uses drugs and who encouraged him to adopt a similar lifestyle, according to his lawyer lifestyle. Together the couple engaged in criminal behaviour to feed their habits.
A provincial court judge agreed with Crown and defence counsel's recommendation that Oickle be sentenced to time served (132 days in jail since the time of his arrest) followed by two years of probation. The remaining charges against him were dropped following sentencing.
Oickle apologized to the court for the "stupid things" he did.
Meanwhile a co-accused, Taylor Erin Burgess, 27, also of Ontario, is charged with four counts of theft, three counts of possessing stolen property and single allegations of assault and breach of recognizance.
She remains on remand pending her next court appearance, scheduled for this month in Bridgewater when she's supposed to go to trial.