North Vancouver mail thief who bought BMW with fake credit cards goes to jail

A serial fraudster who targeted victims after stealing their mail has a new address – in jail.

Cody Justin Parent, 27, of Surrey, stole mail from three apartment buildings as well as vehicles in North Vancouver and used fake IDs and credit cards to buy a BMW and rack up an $18,000 cellphone bill.

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Parent was recently handed a three-year jail sentence by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow after pleading guilty to seven charges, including three counts of break and enter, plus fraud, identity theft and possession of a credit card embosser.

According to an agreed statement of facts submitted to the court, Parent was nabbed after being caught on surveillance cameras breaking into mailboxes and stealing mail from three apartment buildings in the 200 blocks of East Third Street and West First Street on June 10 and 11 of 2018.

When police searched Parent’s residence at a Surrey recovery house, under a warrant, they found more than 200 pieces of stolen or fraudulent identification including credit cards, cheques, passports, driver’s licences, Nexus cards and a social insurance card, according to the judge’s summary of the case.

Parent bought multiple cellphones and ran up bills on them with a fake credit card and identity documents, resulting in a loss of about $18,000, according to the court.

Parent was also driving a 2006 BMW at the time of his arrest, which he bought with a bogus credit card after stealing another man’s identity, said the judge.

Crown counsel described Parent’s identity thefts as brazen, the judge noted, pointing out Parent’s long criminal record, which includes 27 prior convictions. He was on probation for similar offences at the time he committed his crimes.

One man whose identity documents were stolen from his vehicle by Parent submitted a victim impact statement, describing the stress and expense caused.

Many more people are unknowing victims, said Gerow in handing down the sentence, because “police do not have the resources to contact all of the people whose mail was stolen.”

Parent had a troubled background, according to his defence lawyer Karen Mirsky, including being bounced around foster homes as a child and ending up on the street. Parent began using crystal meth when he was 12 and “he continues to battle with his addiction issues,” said the judge.

Parent was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time he committed most of his offences, she added.

Gerow imposed a global sentence of three years in jail, but gave Parent credit for time already served in jail. He will serve another 21 months in custody.

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