Abbotsford pigeon thief gets 60 days

A man charged on Canada Day with the heist of 365 birds – mostly fancy pigeons – has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.

A man charged on Canada Day with the heist of 365 birds – mostly fancy pigeons – has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.

William James Balice, 29, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property, break and enter, and breach of probation in connection with the theft in the 2700 block of Lefeuvre Road on June 28. He was sentenced Friday in Abbotsford provincial court.

The stolen show birds included breeds such as the American roller and the muffed tumbler. Balice was found in possession of some of the birds on his west Abbotsford property and had listed them for sale on craigslist.

Police said the birds were valued at $60 to $100 each.

Also on Friday, Balice pleaded guilty to a previous charge of driving while prohibited, and was given a five-year driving ban.

He still faces charges of theft and trespassing related to an incident in Maple Ridge on March 29, along with four other people.

Police continue to investigate a rash of livestock and fowl thefts that have taken place in the Fraser Valley since last fall.