A one-time acquaintance of Thomas Svekla testified yesterday that shortly after meeting a man he believed had just been released from prison, a hockey bag containing all his possessions went missing.
The witness, who can’t be named under a publication ban, said that on May 4, 2006, he travelled from Fox Creek to stay in High Level overnight, when he met a man at his hotel who asked him for a change of clothes.
He testified that he invited the man into his room, where he changed out of what the witness believed were “prison” coveralls.
After leaving the man alone at the hotel, the witness said that he passed out behind a building close to the hotel, having been drinking heavily earlier that night. He testified that when he returned in the morning, the hockey bag containing his clothes was gone.
The owner of a west-end auto body shop also testified yesterday, verifying the condition of Svekla’s Ford truck, after it was seized by RCMP.
He said that when the later-model pick-up arrived, it wasn’t roadworthy. He testified that that the battery had been removed, the tires were bald, and the ignition was permanently switched to the “on” position.
The trial continues.