Bit player charged in bike theft ring sentenced
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 8, 2008 2:57PM EDT
TORONTO - A former Canadian Forces cook has pleaded guilty for his role in what police allege is a massive Toronto bike-theft ring that led to the arrest of alleged mastermind Igor Kenk and the recovery of nearly 3,000 bicycles.
Jean Laveau, 47, was sentenced to 14 more days in jail after pleading guilty Thursday to theft under $5,000 and possession of burglary tools.
Laveau, who has already served 23 days in jail, stood motionless in the prisoner's dock and didn't address the judge.
These thefts were blatant," Justice Brent Knazan told Laveau on sentencing. You are using the skills you learn in the military to commit crimes."
Court heard that Laveau was under surveillance by police when he cut a lock and stole a bike, for which he was paid $40. He was arrested as he tried to steal a second.
Knazan said Laveau has been convicted four times for theft offences in the last 15 years. He has convictions for possession of stolen property, property obtained by crime and possession of burglary tools.
Laveau, who is from Papua New Guinea, was nabbed last month when police arrested Kenk, who's been charged with about 60 offences mostly involving stolen bikes and some drugs. Kenk has been released on $275,000 bail and is slated to return to court Sept. 24.
Some 330 bikes have been reunited with their owners since Kenk's July 16 arrest. Police have placed the bikes on display to the public in two warehouses. The bulk of the bicycles will be destroyed once the case has been deal with, police said.
Laveau's lawyer Mitch Engel said his client, who moved to Toronto from Montreal about four years ago, has been living in a series of hostels and is under psychiatric care.
Laveau was based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Que., during his 10 years of military service, during which he sometimes worked abroad as a supply technician and chief cook, Engel said.