Heidi Marie Arsenault pleaded guilty in provincial court in Summerside Thursday to the theft, two probation breaches and one charge of failing to appear in court.
The incident took place on April 21, 2011.
Security at Sears in Moncton, N.B., called police to report that they had Arsenault in custody. Security watched the woman as she moved throughout the store. She had gone to the electronics department and left with a $500 flat screen TV in her cart.
Arsenault hadn’t paid for the television. When she attempted to leave the store a security feature on the shopping cart, which causes the wheels to lock so it can’t be taken from the store, prevented her from getting out the door.
She tried several times to push the cart out the door. When she was approached by security she asked the officer to keep an eye on the cart and the television while she went outside to her car to get her receipt.
The security officer replied by questioning why the receipt would be in her car if she had just purchased the item.
“Ok, I took it,” said Arsenault.
At the time the crime was committed, she was on two separate probation orders, stipulations of which were to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.
Arsenault was arrested and given a date to appear in court. She failed to show up.
Her previous record included a number of convictions for theft. She had been court and convicted of theft less than three weeks before committing the crime.
Defence attorney Trish Cheverie said since the crime, Arsenault has made “significant progress”, is working full-time and dealing with her addiction.
Cheverie asked that, in spite of her previous theft convictions, Arsenault not be given jail time.
Judge Jeff Lantz disagreed.
“It is a fairly significant item,” Lantz said of the television Arsenault tried to steal. “She had two prior convictions on her record at the time and was on probation.”
She was permitted to serve her sentence intermittently. Once out of jail, Arsenault will be on probation for 12 months and must undergo assessment, counselling and treatment for any addictions issues.
She was also ordered to pay $200 in victim surcharges and to stay away from the victimized store.