Mission employee pleads guilty to breach of trust

Sentencing hearing scheduled to take place in October

A former guard looking after the exhibit room at the Mission RCMP detachment has pleaded guilty to breach of trust in B.C. Supreme Court this week.

The case against Maple Ridge resident April Smith has not been laid out before a judge yet, said Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie. “It will be part of the sentencing process.”

Smith was arrested Feb. 15 this year and charged with breach of trust, theft over $5,000, and public servant refusing to deliver property. The latter two charges have been stayed.

About $116,000 was discovered missing from the exhibit room at the police station in January 2013 during a routine audit. A team of outside investigators was brought in to probe the issue and determined no other employees were involved.

Smith was a District of Mission employee for 15 years and worked as the main exhibit custodian from April 2008 until the money was discovered missing.

MacKenzie didn’t disclose what penalty Crown will be seeking, but Mission RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Dixon said police have recommended restitution be part of it.

“We’ve given our input on what we would like to see,” said Dixon, who didn’t provide further details. “I don’t want to say anything that might affect sentencing.”

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 3.

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