No where to run, man caught in bait vehicle

Harry Puglas of Campbell River admits to drinking problem after a string of incidents lands him in jail

It was Harry Puglas’ first run-in with police, but he was an easy catch.

The 31-year-old Campbell River man was found by Mounties, locked inside a bait vehicle outside JJ’s Pub in the early morning hours of Jan. 6.

Puglas, who had no previous criminal record, had been drinking when he decided to try and steal the pickup truck as well as a cell phone – more bait for thieves – that was left inside the truck.

He had also tried to pull off the dashboard, presumably attempting to start the truck.

But all efforts failed as the doors automatically locked and the surveillance video started running. Police arrived within minutes, surrounded the vehicle and arrested Puglas.

He was later released on bail, but was back behind bars again on Feb. 18, after he was arrested outside the townhouse complex at 300 Robron Rd. Again, Puglas had been drinking and this time he was banging on doors.

On Monday, in Campbell River provincial court, Puglas pleaded guilty to theft, mischief and two counts of failing to abide by a court order. He also pleaded guilty to stealing a case of beer from the Merecroft Liquor Store on Nov. 17, 2011.

According to his lawyer, Angie Penhall, Puglas knows he has a problem with alcohol and has taken steps to stay sober. He’s attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and is willing to take other counselling.

Judge Brian Saunderson agreed and ordered Puglas to take counselling as directed by his probation officer. The judge also said jail is appropriate and sentenced Puglas to 20 days, plus one year of probation.

Puglas was also ordered to not go to the Merecroft Village Liquor Store.