A local man who went on a 13-month spree of stealing motor vehicles and heavy machinery was sentenced to 15 months in jail Wednesday.
The good news for Darren Hood is he?s apparently turned his life around since being arrested, has met a woman, settled down and promised to stay out of trouble once his long jail sentence expires.
Just before Justice William Fitzgerald imposed the 15-month sentence, Hood told the court ?I just want to get this over with and get back to my new life.?
Hood pleaded guilty to stealing a snowmobile in late November 2000 worth more than $5,000; a front-end loader worth in excess of $50,000 on May 8, 2001; another loader worth more than $60,000 on July 3, 2001; and an all-terrain vehicle valued at $3,000 on Nov. 7, 2001. All of the machinery was stolen from different area businesses.
The snow machine was sold for parts, the first front end loader was recovered, but with $500 in damage. The second front end loader was recovered. The all-terrain vehicle was not recovered.
On Dec. 28, 2001, Hood agreed to help a friend by stealing his vehicle and then setting it on fire so his buddy could make an insurance claim.
Hood was arrested in relation to one incident and gave police a statement admitting to his involvement in all of the thefts, said defence counsel Robert Topp.
?He was extremely co-operative with the police. I think it?s fair to say that without his co-operation none of these matters would have been solved,? said Topp.
However, considering there were five separate large-scale thefts with a total value in excess of $120,000, a jail sentence is necessary in all the circumstances, said Topp.
The good news is Hood is determined to stay out of trouble once this sentence expires, said Topp.
Assistant Crown attorney Patricia Moore told the court the Crown was going to originally ask for a sentence of two years less a day, but reviewed that position. Besides the jail sentence, Hood was also placed on 12-months probation and ordered to pay restitution of $9,500 for the vehicles that weren?t recovered.