A con artist picked the wrong mark last month and it cost her a 90-day jail sentence.
Patricia Marie Schultz, 34, approached a man behind the X-static nightclub in the early evening in mid-July and spun a tale about how she had lost her keys and needed money to pay a locksmith to get her into her suite above the club at 4605 50th Ave.
Unfortunately for her, the man was an off-duty police officer who was immediately suspicious.
It later emerged she had pulled a similar stunt a few weeks earlier. She went door-to-door in a city neighbourhood about 6 a.m. telling a similar story of lost keys and cash needed. One Good Samaritan gave her $90, but then saw Schultz hop in a waiting taxi and disappear, said Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson in Red Deer provincial court Wednesday.
Schultz pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud under $5,000, two counts of breaching a probation order, and obstructing police.
McPherson suggested a sentence of 12 to 18 months for the woman, who has a long history of fraud convictions.
Defence lawyer Norman Clare said Schultz has been battling a crack addiction for 15 years, but has been taking steps to kick the habit and has a job with a communications company.
Schultz said she had been homeless for three years but had been living in a residence for the past year and held a job for 13 months. The frauds occurred during a brief relapse, she said, adding she wanted to pay back the woman she defrauded.
Provincial court Judge Bert Skinner said the Crown’s request for such a stiff sentence was, no doubt, due to a level of frustration with her past criminal record that includes 27 fraud convictions.
Skinner gave her credit for her guilty pleas and gave her a 90-day sentence. She was also credited with 84 days of jail time on a two-for-one deal for the 42 days she has served in custody since her arrest. She also remains on probation until August 2010.