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Purse snatcher, bonded for a year, ordered to pay compensation

Purse snatcher, bonded for a year, ordered to pay compensation
ROCKIES RESIDENT, Naomi Nero conceals her face as she exits the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court

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AN UNEMPLOYED 56-year-old woman who snatched a purse containing $450 from a young, unemployed mother of four has been bonded and ordered to pay compensation.

Jax Enterprises Ltd’s cameras, which have worked to capture many a shoplifter in the daily runnings of the department store, also caught the sleight of hand of Rockies resident, Naomi Nero.

This effectively cornered Nero into pleading her guilt to stealing a $30 purse containing $450 and Identification cards belonging to Nerissa Francois of Rose Bank.

The Rockies resident was one of several persons who appeared in the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on December 6, having been charged for theft, a crime which on summary conviction, could result in a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

“I’m afraid that is going to be a regular part of our court sitting from here on in. We are in the month of December and people are going to come into town not necessarily to shop but to thief as well. And the business places are aware of that so they will be on their guard, looking out. And many of you will be caught,” Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett commented.

Nero’s opportunity for dishonesty presented itself on November 20, 2021. Nerissa Francois of Rose Bank had travelled into Kingstown along with other family members to do some Christmas shopping.

She visited many stores and made purchases, including at Jax Enterprises. She paid for an item and held on to the receipt, placing her purse in her handbag. She was walking along an aisle when an employee informed her that her bag was open. This led to the discovery of the missing purse, a mystery that was solved when the store’s security helped by checking the cameras. The footage showed the defendant placing her hand in the handbag and removing the purse.

The offence was reported to the police and investigations launched. On December 3, Nero handed over the purse to the police. She had apparently been using it as her own. She admitted to the police that she had taken it.

Nero has previous convictions but these are dated and therefore were not valid during sentencing.

According to the discussions that took place at court on December 6, the defendant has six children, the youngest of whom is 25 years, and none of them live with her.

On the other hand, Francois, 27 years old, has four children to take care of, the youngest being one year old.

“She’s not working you know, but in her purse she had $450 to take care of herself and four children you understand?” Burnett put to the defendant. He asked how much of the money she had remaining.

When she responded, something about the defendant’s manner caused the magistrate to comment that she was speaking as though it was funny.

“No my honour it’s not funny,” she replied, adding that she was sorry.

The footage from the store was shown, as the magistrate said he wanted the defendant to see what she had done and he also wanted to see it.

Later, Nero revealed that she threw away the Identification cards, causing Burnett to observe that this was a criminal mind.

“Miss Nero you can’t be living your life like this you know, you cannot be living your life like this…” he said, emphasising that Francois, ”is unemployed like you. She is in need of her $450.”

The defendant had earlier told the court that she was laid off from a hotel in 2017.

Nero said her brother had the money, and he was called into the courtroom. He managed to shuffle through his personal effects, finding the money to compensate Francois.

“You need to stop it,” Burnett chided Nero.

“What is wrong with you? What is the matter with you Madam? Is this how you want to live your life?” he questioned.

She replied “No sir.” “Well stop it,” the magistrate told her. Nero was bonded for one year in the sum of $1500; if she breaks the bond, she will serve a six month prison sentence.