Cell phone snatcher with record of theft, jailed
A teenager may never have known who snatched his phone two Saturdays ago had a concerned citizen not stepped in and apprehended the fleeing figure.
The incident in question occurred on September 21 at 9 am when the teen was seated in the rear seat of a white passenger van parked at North River road near to the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School.
He had his black ZTE cellular phone, worth $238 together with the phone case and SIM card, on his right leg. The windows on either side of the vehicle were open.
It is said that the defendant, Stilson Harold, a 33-year-old of Vermont, snuck up, and through the left window, he grabbed the phone, taking off towards Gaymes book store.
The 14-year-old quickly exited the van shouting “Look the man tief my phone! Look the man tief my phone!” As Harold fled he dropped the phone.
An onlooker who knows the defendant saw him running by, and asked the 14-year-old what had happened. Upon being informed, the onlooker chased after the defendant and was able to apprehend him.
However, Harold slipped through their grasp on the way to the police station.
He was however detained by the police after the teen’s mother reported the matter to the police.
Harold told the police that he took the youth’s phone because “somebody tief mine” that looked like the teenager’s phone.
He elaborated on this further when he was before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne at the Serious Offences Court charged with stealing the phone from the Peruvian Vale youngster.
“I make a mistake with the young man your honour. I see the phone there, when I watch the phone, just like ah my phone and I tek the phone,” Harold said.
But when he was “watching the phone good”, a gun man came up and pointed a gun at him, causing him to run. Harold relayed that it was when he was being chased that he dropped the phone but the chaser was still running behind him because he thought that Harold had taken a bag from the person.
The defendant said he heard “crack crack”, referring to a gun being cranked, and stated that when he heard this, he stopped. He said the next thing he did was try to convince the man with the gun who he “don’t know if is a police or wah” that the bag did not belong to the teen.
The magistrate asked him if he reported the stolen phone, and he replied that he reported it at the Criminal Investigations Department, but also mentioned not wanting to go back because he was afraid of the police being violent to him because of something they allegedly told him before.
When asked for his take on sentencing, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche rose to look at Harold, saying that the part in the story where he knew the defendant had lied was when he said he heard the “crack crack.” “I like the crack crack part,” the prosecutor scoffed.
Referring to the defendant’s criminal record, he concluded, “You’re a tief. Your antecedent shows that. That’s what you are.” He told the defendant not to come with any nonsense about “gun man.”
“Custodial,” he recommended point-blank.
During sentencing, the magistrate noted that the case was aggravated by there being a deliberate targeting of a vulnerable child. On the other hand, the property had been restored.
With regard to Harold himself, his “plethora” of antecedents for theft and burglary were not overlooked.
The court landed at a decision of five months imprisonment, which after the discount awarded to those who admit their guilt is applied, amounts to three months.
The phone will be returned to the 14-year-old.