A local man has pleaded guilty to four charges related to his role in a string of pickup truck and motorized equipment thefts in late May.
Dale Al West, 33, and another man were arrested midday May 30 in Quesnel after an RCMP officer in the community 116 kilometres south of Prince George noticed a pickup truck with two different plates being driven erratically along Racing and Ryan Roads.
When she received confirmation it had been stolen from a Prince George home two nights before and that one of the missing plates had just been found, she went onto Ryan Road where she found two men hooking a trailer with the skid steer onto the pickup truck.
Police also later found a nearby gate to a property was knocked over and a shed where the skid steer was kept had been broken into.
The two took off in the truck, cutting across a field and heading towards Highway 97.
Police eventually traced the truck to the parking lot at Cariboo Pulp on North Star Road and after calling in a tracking dog, apprehended the two in a nearby wooded area.
Two backpacks were uncovered where they were found. In West's was found an assortment of items, including a can of bear spray.
As a result, West pleaded guilty in Prince George provincial court Tuesday to two counts of theft over $5,000, and one count each of possession of stolen property of more than $5,000 and carrying a concealed weapon.
Crown counsel is seeking a year in jail followed by one year probation while defence is arguing for a nine-month to one-year conditional sentence with West attending a drug addiction treatment centre in the Fraser Valley.
How much credit West should get for time spent in custody has been complicated by West's decision to represent himself at one point, apparently because he had trouble finding a lawyer. Judge Michael Brecknell reserved his decision until a later date.
Three other men continue to face charges from the incidents which included thefts of four other pickup trucks, a six-seat all-terrain vehicle and the attempted theft of an excavator between May 28 and June 1. Police are alleging the thefts are connected.