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Woman's coin thefts led to jail, probation

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An Owen Sound woman caught stealing coins from laundry machines in apartment buildings received a suspended sentence and 18 months probation after her presentence custody was credited at 94 days.

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Anita Coture, 41, of 2760 5th Ave. W., Apt. 106 in Owen Sound pleaded guilty to five charges in the Ontario Court of Justice Thursday and a sixth on an earlier appearance for which she was also sentenced.

She admitted she attempted to break into St. Frances’ Place apartment building at 350 10th St. E. to commit an offence Jan. 5, and on Jan. 9 to stealing cash under $5,000 from Grey-Bruce Property Rentals’ building at 628 28th St. W. in Owen Sound, and to mischief under $5,000 by damaging washing machines there.

She admitted to break, enter and theft under $5,000 in a Grey County Housing apartment building at 159 Parker St. W. in Meaford on March 20, and to breaching bail by doing so while out after curfew to commit that crime.

She also pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance to breaking into a Grey County Housing apartment building with intent to commit theft at 257 7th Ave. E. in Owen Sound on Jan. 23, which she also was sentenced on Thursday.

That earlier plea was taken to get a Gladue report started, which looked into her Indigenous background.
Assitant Crown attorney Glenn Brotherston said in the Jan. 5 St. Francis’s Place incident, a security camera caught Coture damaging the entrance door lock with a screwdriver.

Subsequently she got in and tried to break into five washers and dryers on the 8th floor, causing $390 damage to the entrance and $116 damage to the laundry room door. She left her cellphone though, and returned to find it later.

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The Jan. 9 incident saw Coture remove the coin mechanism from a laundry machine in the third-floor laundry room at 628 28th St. W., then do the same to two more machines on the first floor of that building. She caused $225 damage. The superintendent saw and recognized her.

On Jan. 23 she was confronted by witnesses in the basement laundry area of the 7th Avenue E. building, police were called and she was arrested. She had a screwdriver, pry bar and socket driver used to break into coin machines.

The amount of money taken in all cases was undetermined.

Defence lawyer David O’Connor described efforts Coture made to help herself while in jail for 69 days before sentencing and joined the Crown in recommending that she receive enhanced presentence custody credit totalling 94 days.

Probation terms include non-attendance at the places she targeted, rehabilitation for substance abuse and anything else recommended by a probation officer.

This online version of the story was corrected by changing one of the locations targeted to 257 7th Ave. E., not St. E.

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