Identity thief has jail time reduced

Colby Romanchych was arrested at a Langley gas station with loaded gun and stolen cards

A man who once was on Langley’s prolific offender list has had his jail time reduced for crimes committed in Langley in 2015.

On Jan. 25, the B.C. Court of Appeal granted Colby Romanchych’s appeal to have his sentence reduced.

Appeals Judge Bennett said the sentencing went ‘overboard’ and that Romanchych should be granted more for his time in pre-trial custody.

Five months was shaved off the 29 month jail sentence.

In March 2015, Romanchych, 36,was under surveillance by police who believed he was driving a stolen pickup truck. He was arrested at a gas station in Langley a short time later.

At the time of his arrest, several items were found in the truck, including a loaded handgun, a number of credit cards, debit cards and identity documents were also found in the vehicle.

During sentencing, it was learned that police ascertained when and where the cards had been used for purchases, or attempted purchases, by someone not authorized to use those cards. Mr. Romanchych was caught on video recordings at several different gas stations using credit cards and debit cards that did not belong to him, said the sentencing judge at the time.

On the day of his arrest he applied for and was granted bail but was unable to come up with the funds until April 30, 2015.

In May 2015, he was twice arrested for further offences. On May 11, 2015, he was arrested for credit-card related offences committed in September 2014. He was again released on bail.

On May 22, 2015, he was arrested for offences committed that day involving flight from police using a motor vehicle. His bail was revoked and he was held in custody.

In September 2015, Romanchych pleaded guilty to four offences relating to the matters for which he was arrested on May 11 and 22, 2015. He served a total sentence of 84 days on those four counts. He did not seek to be released pending his trial for the other offenses.

“I find that the challenged portion of s. 719(3.1) violates s. 7 of the Charter because it is overbroad,” writes Bennett in the reasons to allow the appeal.

In 2013, Romancych was one of Langley’s prolific property offenders and was sentenced to eight months in jail for several offense, including shoplifting a water filter from the Langley Home Depot and then fought with the Loss Prevention Officer and an off duty cop during the arrest. He was also sent to jail for a series of thefts at Otter Co-op.

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