‘Clean up,’ judge tells drug addict who robbed 92-year-old

CALGARY – A woman who robbed and knocked down a 92-year-old senior at a southeast shopping mall, taking her purse and fleeing, will not have to spend any more time in jail.

Provincial court Judge Jim Ogle gave Kari-Lynn Klopp double credit for 10 months already spent in custody, giving her one day to serve. That means she would be released on Friday. Ogle said the mugging of Gertrude Gerritsen was prompted by the offender’s drug habit and warned her she must clean up her act. “It’s time for Ms. Klopp to decide which route she’s going to take in her life,” Ogle said, adding two years probation to the sentence. “She’s got to clean up her addictions. If she doesn’t get her life together, we’ll probably see her back before these courts.”

Klopp told court she wished to apologize in person to the victim, if she was up to it, and the judge said that gesture was “encouraging.” Gerritsen did not attend any of the hearings, but wrote in a victim impact statement presented at sentencing arguments last month that the she was always independent but the injuries have taken away her mobility and independence. “I am no longer able to care for myself and have to rely on my family and others for help,” Gertrude Gerritsen wrote in her statement. “I no longer have the confidence or ability to do basic things like prepare meals and bathe myself without assistance. I feel I have become a burden to my kids.”

Gerritsen, who then lived alone, had just arrived by bus at SouthCentre shopping mall about 9:30 a.m. on June 17 when Klopp exited a vehicle, approached her and demanded her purse, according to an agreed statement of facts.  She refused and held her purse close to her body, but Klopp, a cocaine addict for 14 years and high on the drug, grabbed it from Gerritsen’s hands and pushed her to the ground. Klopp then fled in the car driven by an accomplice. Gerritsen was in severe pain, suffering from a broken hip, an abrasion to the top of her head, bruising on her right arm and both forearms, bruising to her left shin and an abrasions to her left ankle.

She required surgery to replace part of her hip. Gerritsen’s purse contained her wallet with $140 cash, her social insurance card, house key and medical records. She told police the loss of her house keys “devastated” her. Klopp, 40, pleaded guilty in January to robbery.  Klopp was on probation for an impaired driving conviction at the time of the heist. Defence lawyer Joe Nahmann had said his client, who has two daughters, has spent more than nine months in remand and should not have to serve any more time behind bars. He added that Klopp has been drug-free since her arrest and wants to go into treatment.

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