Southern Alberta Newspapers
An observant and suspicious civilian helped police nab a Lethbridge man who was fleeing in a stolen pickup truck earlier this fall.
The civilian noticed the black truck speeding on a rural road northeast of Raymond Sept. 21 and, while following it, called police. The truck eventually turned north on Highway 845 and sped away from the other driver, but was forced to stop by a train that was crossing the road near the intersection with Highway 4.
By that time police arrived and noticed the truck had turned onto a gravel road and somehow managed to cross the tracks, but not without damaging its tires. The occupants jumped out of the vehicle and fled with a bag of items, but surrendered when ordered to by police.
During the investigation police learned that the truck, as well as a licence plate found inside, had previously been reported stolen. And the driver, Jason Shawn Cranston, was at the time disqualified from driving.
Cranston, 35, pleaded guilty last Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to two counts of possession of stolen property and one count of driving while disqualified. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but credited for the equivalent of 75 days spent in custody, leaving only 45 days to serve.
Court was told Cranston has a lengthy criminal record, which includes three convictions in the past few months alone for driving while disqualified.
Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan said his client wants to take counselling, and hopes to “get his life in order.”
In addition to jail, Cranston will also be on probation for one year following his release, and he must take counselling for substance abuse. He was also prohibited from driving for another year, which will begin after his current disqualification ends in July of next year.