UPDATE: Thief who stole from volunteer Popkum firefighters found guilty

Lorne Sims to be sentenced in Chilliwack provincial court Jan. 22

Some measure of justice may finally be on the way for Popkum volunteer firefighters brazenly robbed while out on a call in 2016.

A man with a long criminal history was found guilty after a short trial in Chilliwack provincial court on Dec. 6 to one count of theft $5,000 or under, and one count posses/use a stolen credit card.

Lorne James Sims (Facebook)

Lorne James Sims is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22 for stealing from the volunteer firefighters’ vehicles on Aug. 5, 2016.

[Ed note: An earlier version of this story said Sims pleaded guilty. He pleaded not guilty and was found guilty by a judge.]

• READ MORE: Popkum fire hall hit by thieves while on call

Sims contacted The Progress on Jan. 5 to complain about the Dec. 11 story that incorrectly said he pleaded guilty. Sims insisted the only reason he was found guilty was because of his prior record.

“Circumstantial evidence gave me the guilty verdict by a judge,” Sims wrote via email. “If this case was in front of a jury the results would be different I’m sure.”

The crime struck a chord in the community, prompting Timothy Christian students to host a fundraiser where they raised more than $9,000 to help replace stolen items.

• READ MORE: Firewash fundraiser a huge success for Popkum firefighters

Described at the time as a new low, even for thieves, the Popkum Fire Hall was actually struck twice.

On one call, volunteers responded to a 2 a.m. page for a crash on the highway involving two trucks. They raced to the hall, suited up, jumped in their trucks, and headed to the rescue.

Meanwhile, back at the hall, someone took the opportunity to loot their vehicles and take off with wallets, cell phones, work tools and other personal belongings. They also stole pagers and radios belonging to the firehall.

“Seven of our personal vehicles were broken into,” said firehall secretary Jan Bosman in 2016.

And then, while the crew was out on an all-day call a few days later that closed the highway for hours, thieves struck again.

In the wake of the thefts, the department considered leaving one firefighter at the hall to watch over belongings.

“Which is ridiculous,” Bosman says. “That we might lose resources like this. But if we have a call and it’s in the middle of night we are forced to leave one of the members to watch over the hall.”

Sims is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22.

– with files from Jessica Peters

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

Missing Chilliwack 17-year-old last seen on August 20

RCMP asking public for help to find Lorenz Pentz

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

Gill Road bar in Chilliwack being eyed for gating and campsite

People love Gill for fishing and four-by-fouring but desecration by trash dumpers is continuous

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Student arrested at South Delta Secondary for alleged assault

The alleged assault occurred between two SDSS students on Wednesday, Sept. 18

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read