‘Top-10’ car thief behind bars

Six-month jail term for prolific offender, Richard James Mantler, 43

Richard James Mantler

One of B.C.’s top 10 car thieves was sentenced to jail last week after pleading guilty to several charges related to a Langley crime.

Richard James Mantler, 43, of Surrey, was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and obstruction.

The charges relate to an incident that took place in Langley City on July 25.

On July 22, a Surrey resident reported her red Mazda had been stolen.

On July 25, officers from Langley’s Street Enforcement unit working in the downtown core observed a red Mazda (with damage to the driver’s door) enter a parking lot, make a U-turn and exit the parking lot, said Cpl. Holly Marks.

The licence plate was queried and the officer discovered the vehicle was, in fact, stolen.

Officers followed the vehicle until it came to a stop in the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot.

One of the officers activated his vehicle’s emergency lights and an unmarked police car pulled behind the Mazda to box it in.

Mantler, who was driving the stolen Mazda, put it in reverse. He drove directly into the police vehicle, crashing heavily into it.

Mantler then jumped out of the driver’s window and ran between some of the buildings.

The officers gave chase and were able to catch up to Mantler.  After a short struggle, he was taken into custody where he has remained, said police.

On Nov. 1, Mantler was sentenced to six months in jail and two years probation.  He was given a three year driving prohibition (anywhere in Canada) and a 10-year provincial driving ban.

Mantler has 15 previous criminal convictions — including three previous dangerous driving charges. In fact, his driving record shows 63 Motor Vehicle Act convictions, including 22 driver’s licence suspensions or prohibitions.

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