It’s repeat season for TV thief in Campbell River

Gordon Nelson pleads guilty, again, to stealing three TVs from Superstore

It was just another TV rerun for Gordon Nelson.

Back in August 2009, Nelson received a jail sentence of two years less a day after pleading guilty to break and enter, possession of cocaine, and the theft of three flatscreen televisions from the Real Canadian Superstore.

It was his 16th conviction for theft.

On Monday, the 32-year-old was back in Campbell River provincial court pleading guilty to his 17th theft conviction – for once again stealing three TVs from the same Superstore.

“Obviously, Mr. Nelson is not easily deterred,” noted Judge Thomas Dohm who sentenced Nelson in 2009.

According to Crown prosecutor David Fitzsimmons, on Nov. 27, 2011, Nelson entered the Superstore at Discovery Harbour Mall and was seen on video surveillance walking into the warehouse at the back of the store.

Nelson then climbed up to the second floor of the warehouse and proceeded to unwrap the plastic packaging protecting the televisions.

The TVs, valued at more than $1,600 for all of them, went out the back door and have never been recovered.

However, just like the first theft of three TVs in June 2009, store security identified Nelson’s face from the surveillance tape. Nelson also left his fingerprints behind, again, on the plastic wrap.

Fitzsimmons asked Judge Dohm to impose a sentence similar to the one Nelson received in 2009, as well as probation.

Fitzsimmons reasoned that a maximum provincial sentence, followed by a lengthy probation order, would provide the public with more protection and would allow authorities to keep tabs on Nelson who has a long criminal record.

Defence lawyer Mike Munro disagreed.

He said Nelson pleaded guilty at a rather early date and the father of three young children has also found legitimate work when he he’s not in jail.

“To his credit, he’s accepted responsibility,” said Munro, who asked the judge to impose a six-month jail sentence.

Nelson didn’t say a word during his appearance by video, from holding cells in Victoria where he’s been for the past 72 days.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Munro also entered two other guilty pleas for breaching of a court order. Twice last year, Nelson was found in Campbell River when he was ordered to remain on Quadra Island.

Judge Dohm said he would have been inclined to follow Munro’s suggestion of a six-month sentence, but wasn’t impressed by Nelson’s repeat performance.

“This is a blatant and audacious theft. It is not a novelty for Mr. Nelson,” he said.

Nelson was handed a one-year jail sentence for the latest theft and two six-month terms, to run concurrently, for the breaches.

Nelson was given credit for time already served, and, following his release, will be on probation for 18 months.

As well, during his probation, Nelson cannot go to any Real Canadian Superstore on Vancouver Island.