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January vandal gets suspended sentence at Grand Forks provincial court

The vandal targeted a number of cars and businesses last January, the court heard

A man was given a suspended sentence at Grand Forks provincial court Tuesday, Oct. 19, for his role in a vandalism spree last winter.

Dan Ernest Balmos, 65, was charged with four counts of criminal mischief on April 12, nearly four months after smashing several plate glass windows and spray-painting cars, the court heard.

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Pleading guilty to the first count, Balmos admitted to the facts jointly submitted by Crown prosecutor Rebecca Smyth and his defence counsel, Derwin Petri.

Grand Forks RCMP were called to a report of a male smashing glass on the 6800-block of 19th Street at 4 a.m., Jan. 14, Symth told the court. Arresting Mounties found three broken plate glass windows at the Border Country Dental clinic and a broken plate glass door at a nearby business.

Balmos, identified through video surveillance, was seen throwing away a pair of pliers he’d used to break the glass. His hands were covered in black spraypaint he’d used on the lights and licence plates of four vehicles in the area. He’d smashed a window on one of the vehicles, she added.

Balmos later smashed a broken plate glass door at Jogas Espresso Café. .

“He had some concern about criminal activity in the area … and I understand that those concerns took root in his head and led him to commit those offences as alleged on that date,” Smyth told the court.

“When I described his actions to Mr Balmos, his reaction was that it was very bad. He was very embarrassed and felt terrible about what he’d done,” Petri followed.

Accepting their joint submission, Brown suspended the accused’s sentence, ordering Balmos to serve one year’s probation.

Smyth then stayed his remaining charges.



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