(File photo)

Conditional discharge for White Rock purse-snatcher

Kevin Bradley Howald pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000 in connection with Oct. 11 crime

A man who pleaded guilty to what police described last fall as a “cowardly” purse-snatching in White Rock was handed a conditional discharge and 16 months probation for the crime.

Kevin Bradley Howald learned his sentence Tuesday in Surrey Provincial Court.

Howald, a White Rock resident, was charged with theft under $5,000 after Good Samaritans came to the aid of a 95-year-old woman who was robbed at around 5:40 p.m. Oct. 11, at the corner of Thrift Avenue and Fir Street.

Following the arrest, police told Peace Arch News that at least four individuals had played a role in thwarting the crime; men and women who ranged in age from 33 to 65 years old.

“Two different people phoned it in, then two other people… were holding him down,” Const. Chantal Sears said.

In a news release issued following the incident, Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton described the crime as “particularly disgusting due to the fact that the victim of this purse snatching is 95 years old, walks with a cane and has limited eyesight.”

The victim suffered minor injuries to one arm but did not require hospitalization.

According to online court records, Howald entered a guilty plea on March 1, and a pre-sentence report was heard on May 1.

In addition to the conditional discharge and probation, Howald was ordered to pay a $200 victim surcharge.

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