NEWS

Redemption Inc. reality TV star charged with theft

03/21/2012 09:10 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

An Ottawa man who was the first runner-up on the CBC reality TV show Redemption Inc. has been charged with a series of home and vehicle break-ins.

Brian Miller, 27, was charged in relation to two home break-ins and theft from a number of vehicles during Sunday's early-morning hours.

Miller, who has previous convictions for armed robbery and theft under $5,000, was a contestant on Redemption Inc. hosted by Kevin O'Leary. The show offers ex-convicts a chance at $100,000 to start a new business.

Miller was the first runner-up, and had spoken during its run about how important it was to turning his life around.

"Win or lose, I know I can go home and change my life," Miller said during one episode.

Miller eventually lost to Alia Pierini of Prince George, B.C.

Recruiting firm, O'Leary tried to employ Miller

Six months after the first episodes aired, the show caught up with him and he found that he was unemployed and living on social assistance.

In a March 6 news release timed with that episode's release, Toronto management recruiting firm Permanent Search Group announced it was teaming with O'Leary to help find Miller employment in the Toronto area.

"With years of experience as management recruiters specialized in filling management positions in and around Toronto, PSG helped secure participant Brian Miller the ultimate exit package: a job opportunity, a fresh start and a true chance for redemption," the headhunter said in its release.

Twelve days later, Miller was charged with two counts of breaking and entering, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft under $5,000, four counts of attempted theft and one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The incidents happened in Stittsville early Sunday. Police were called after a man broke into a home and left the scene with the homeowner's vehicle.

Remanded in custody

Police said the homeowner followed the vehicle but that the suspect later abandoned it and fled on foot.

The man continued breaking into vehicles, police said. Miller was arrested after a foot chase with police. Stolen property was recovered.

Miller appeared in court this week and was remanded in custody.

According to Miller's Redemption Inc. biography, he started drinking and using drugs when he was 13 years old. After a strained relationship with a tormenting brother and then a bad breakup, the drug use spiralled.

Though he had graduated from college and landed a job, the biography said he robbed a bank to support his drug habit. After serving a two-year conditional sentence, Miller was released and soon held up a pizza delivery man. Miller was sentenced to another 18 months.

Miller, now a father of three, had planned to start up a music store and give lessons.

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