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14 months for school break-in

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 14/05) - A Yellowknife man who stole more that $1,300 that middle school students raised during a "pizza day" - was sentenced to 14 months in jail last week.

Jamie Meyook, 26, was behind a string of break-ins that targeted several business along Old Airport Road and Range Lake North school from November of 2004 through January 2005.

During an appearance in territorial court Thursday, Meyook admitted to three break-ins, a mischief, possession of marijuana and breach of a court order.

"(He) has more or less made a career as a break-and-enter artist," said Judge Bernadette Schmatlz, who handed down the 14-month sentence - a joint recommendation of the Crown and defence.

Meyook was spotted Jan. 13, 2005, walking down Range Lake Road, following a break-in at the elementary school, said Crown prosecutor John MacFarlane.

Police found more than $1,300 on him and another man - $455 of which was in change.

"Stealing from school kids? Their pizza money?" Schmaltz asked incredulously.

"Think about that."

Meyook also admitted to cutting a hole in the wall of a territorial department of Public Works office, Nov. 21. He then reached through to open a door to the offices on the second floor of the downtown Centre Square Mall.

The native of Aklavik also broke into a business on Old Airport Road - where, again, a hole was cut into a wall - and smashed a truck window so he could steal a pack of cigarettes. "It's not right, what I did," said Meyook, who recently got a full-time job in construction. "Now that I'm working, that's all I want to do."

Defence lawyer Hugh Latimer urged Schmaltz to consider a conditional sentence that would allow Meyook to serve his time in the community and not jail. But his record - which included seven previous break and enters - was too serious she said.

"These have to be stopped. No community can afford to have Mr. Meyook in it," she said.

Another man was implicated in the break-ins, but his charges were thrown out earlier this year after police witnesses did not show-up for his trial.