Jail Term for Comical Theft in Leamington

A Windsor man has been sentenced to seven-months in jail after pleading guilty in connection to a large theft of vehicles from a Leamington auto dealership.

Daniel Watkins, 34, pleaded guilty to five counts total of break and enter, possession of stolen property, possession of cocaine and breach of recognizance.

He had originally been charged with 22 counts.

Watkins has been in custody since his arrest in December of 2018 and has another 24 days left to serve.

Court heard in December, Watkins broke into a Leamington auto dealer on Erie St. and took 13 sets of keys which were used to steal 13 vehicles from the parking lot.

All 13 vehicles were eventually recovered. The majority of stolen vehicles were recovered within hours.

Watkins' lawyer John Sitter admitted it was "an unsophisticated crime of opportunity" which was almost "comical" as his client had no plan.

"The fact is it was very unsophisticated," he says. "This kind of crime if you would normally see something with that kind of value, there would be a lot more planning. There was no planning and deliberation, it seemed to be more of a crime of opportunity."

Sitter says the sentence was a joint submission and calls it a fair sentence.

"At the end of the day, it is still a theft, it is still a property offence, it is a theft and it engaged custody, he had a record, but it is not a huge record and it is not out of the range," he says.

Watkins has five previous convictions for break and enter.

Assistant Crown Jennifer Holmes called the crime "shameful" that Watkins was taking things from other people.

Watkins also pleaded guilty in connection to two break and enters in Windsor.

Before being sentenced, Watkins told the court, "I want to apologize for what I've done."