May 22nd, 2024

Break-in to Taber bottle depot results in four month sentence

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 30, 2024.


At 5:30 in the morning on Nov. 15 of last year, there shouldn’t have been anyone in the Taber Container Depot.
The alarm suggested otherwise, however, and when police responded they saw movement inside a locked, fenced compound adjacent to the depot. When they investigated they found Mason Doyle Cranston inside a vehicle and he was detained while police investigated the break-in to the depot.
Police reviewed surveillance video, which showed Cranston, who was wearing a high-visibility coat, climbing through a window into the building. Although Cranston found a safe, loaded it onto a cart and moved it around the area, he ultimately left the building without it.
During a search, police found Cranston in possession of a garage door opener, a roll of quarters and a small amount of cash, taken from the depot.
Cranston pleaded guilty in Lethbridge court of justice to one count of shopbreaking and was sentenced to four months in jail. He was, however, credited for the same amount of time spent in pre-trial custody, which completes his sentence. He will, however, be on probation for one year.
During his sentencing, Crown Prosecutor Bob Morrison pointed out Cranston has a lengthy and related criminal record.
“He had several dozen convictions, and most of it is property related,” Morrison said.
Calgary lawyer Kirsten Lancee said her client committed the offence while he was under strict conditions relating to his participation in the drug treatment court, and he has consequently been removed from the program and is no longer eligible.
Cranson pleaded guilty in November 2022 to charges of fraud, mischief, theft, possession of stolen property, shopbreaking, being unlawfully in a dwelling house, failure to comply with release conditions, and housebreaking with intent. Instead of being sentenced, however, he was released on $1,500 no-cash bail and numerous conditions, then accepted into the drug treatment court.
The program helps people charged with criminal offences avoid almost certain jail in lieu of complying with numerous, stringent conditions, which include regular court attendance, routine monitoring, and intensive counselling and treatment.
Lancee pointed out Cranston enjoyed the drug treatment program and experienced success with it, and despite his ineligibility, he plans to continue seeking treatment and is waiting for a bed to open up at the Foothills Centre detox facility in Fort Macleod.
“He has been calling nearly every single day since January of 2024 to get himself a bed, to have that sense of stability for when he is released from custody,” Lancee said.
She added that while a bed is not immediately available, she expects one will be shortly. She noted Cranston has struggled for years with addiction to Methamphetamine and fentanyl.

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