A gambler who took a chance on grabbing a misplaced wallet in a casino was sentenced to a year of probation Friday.
Provincial court judge Stella Frame also banned Loreta Debonis from attending any casino during the next year.
Crown lawyer Will Burrows said a patron of Lake City Casino on Victoria Street reported to staff that her wallet was missing. Using surveillance video from an elaborate camera system, casino staff traced the wallet to a cash tray at a slot machine.
Video showed the patron switch machines about 15 minutes later, leaving her wallet behind.
Soon after, Debonis moved to the now empty machine. Less than five minutes later, Burrows said video showed her picking up the wallet and quickly handing it to her male partner at the machine beside her.
“He appeared to put it in his waist band,” Burrows said.
About a minute later the couple left the machine, quickly cashed out of the casino and left the building..
“Information all came from camera work at the casino,” Burrows said.
Debonis pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000. She also pleaded guilty to a second count for shoplifting clothes at Real Canadian Superstore in Kamloops.
Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong said 60-year-old Debonis has struggled with alcohol and gambling addictions, along with her spouse.
The 60-year-old Penticton woman is a grandmother to three.
Frame agreed with a joint sentence submission from the lawyers, but expanded what would have been a no-go order strictly to the Kamloops casino to be any casino in B.C.
“There’s no point in moving this problem to another jurisdiction when it’s an addiction behind it.”
Debonis has a related criminal record. She also must undertake 40 hours of community service.