Crown recommends up to six years for prolific offender

Sentencing hearing held for Dave Yaroslawsky for possessing property stolen from Abbotsford, Surrey, Langley, Chilliwack and Hope.

Prolific offender Dave Yaroslawsky had accumulated so much stolen property in early 2012 that he had rented a storage locker in Aldergrove to stash it.

When police arrested him in Langley that March, he had also stored numerous items in his vehicle and in the Langley motel room where he was hiding out.

For that, Yaroslawksy deserves a jail term of five to six years, Crown counsel Jas Gahunia recommended Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster during the start of Yaroslawsky’s sentencing hearing.

The Surrey man, 31, previously pleaded guilty to 32 counts related to items stolen mainly from homes in Abbotsford, Surrey, Langley, Hope and Chilliwack in early 2012.

These offences included numerous counts of possession of stolen property, using a stolen credit card, possessing stolen ID, and two weapons charges.

Yaroslawsky was originally charged with almost 60 offences, but did not plead guilty to any of the multiple break-and-enter counts he faced, claiming he was a “fence” for the stolen property and was not involved in the break-ins.

Gahunia detailed a long list of residences that experienced break-ins and which had items stolen that were later found in Yaroslawsky’s possession.

These objects included cameras, computers, iPods, TVs and other electronics; car and house keys; jewelry; cash; prescription drugs; and various forms of ID, including passports, Care Cards, social insurance cards, and credit cards.

One of the break-ins involved a Fido store in Surrey in which two men stole $500 cash, cellphones and SIM cards.

Three guns were also pilfered in two separate thefts – one from a vehicle and the other from a home.

In several of the break-ins, the suspects urinated on the floors and furniture.

The first key piece of evidence arose from a Chilliwack robbery on Feb. 23, 2012, when an 83-year-old woman arrived home to find an unfamiliar green Chevy Blazer in her driveway.

Two men dressed in dark clothing rushed past her as she stepped into her kitchen, and fled in the Blazer.

The vehicle was captured on a neighbor’s video surveillance camera, and images of the truck were released through the media. The Blazer was registered to Yaroslawsky.

The following month, police received a call from staff at the Super 8 Motel on Glover Road in Langley  who became suspicious when Yaroslawsky checked in but refused to register his vehicle’s licence plate and asked whether he could use a back door to transfer possessions to his room.

A second man later joined Yaroslawsky.

When police arrived, they discovered a Chevy Blazer in the parking lot that matched the one that had been seen at the Chilliwack robbery.

Yaroslawsky and the other man attempted to leave through a window, but retreated to their room when they saw police. They did not leave the room until two hours later, at which point they were arrested.

Warrants were obtained by police to search the hotel room, the Blazer and a storage locker for which they found a rental agreement in Yaroslawsky’s vehicle.

All three areas turned up hundreds of items – including three loaded guns hidden in a maintenance panel in the hotel room bathroom – that had previously been reported stolen. The storage locker, rented in Yaroslawsky’s name, was packed with objects that included five flat-screen TVs.

Yarowslasky had also been caught on video surveillance at a gas station using a bank card just hours after it had been stolen and on which he had purchased more than $1,200 worth of goods.

Gahunia asked the judge, in reaching a sentencing decision, to consider that Yaroslawsky has a criminal history dating back to 1995 – when he was 13 – and has 46 prior convictions for crimes such as assault, break and enter, and drug possession and trafficking.

He was on probation at the time of his arrest in Langley.

The defence’s submission and the judge’s decision on sentencing have not yet been made. The matter is next scheduled for Nov. 1.

Co-accused Ivan Logan Johnson of New Westminster faces almost 60 charges and is next scheduled to appear in Surrey provincial court on Sept. 6.