Thief on three-day stealing spree, jailed for five months
For stealing from a hardware store three times in five days, a 53-year-old man with 22 convictions to his name, has been slapped with a five-month prison sentence.
Peter Dasouza of Sion Hill was captured by CCTV on August 24, 25 and 28, entering Gibson’s Building Supplies Ltd, with cap on, and on one occasion pulling up a mask just before entering the building.
At around 9:30 in the morning on these days, he picked up items in the store, before placing them in a backpack and then leaving the store without paying.
On August 24, he stole one chrome kitchen tap valued at $77.25; on August 25, he swiped three Bib taps valued $85.80, and one Comb Entrance Lockset worth $58.20; while on August 28 Dasouza made off with four saw blades valued at $84.60.
After the Sion Hill resident was taken into custody by the police he told them “I ain take nothing.”
However, he admitted his guilt on Monday, September 7, and wasted no time requesting to be put on a bond, and asking that he be given time to repay the cost of the items.
Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche rose when it was his turn to input, and asked “You 53 now right? When are you going to stop? When are you going to stop Peter?”
“My problem is any time I take the drugs,” the defendant told him, before later adding “I need to get some counselling.”
The prosecutor told him that there was a place that he could go to detox for a little while.
Dasouza informed that when he goes to prison, he is not taken to counselling.
Delplesche told the magistrate that when he looks at Dasouza’s criminal record, it tells him what manner of man he is.
“Peter you have to stop it,” the prosecutor addressed the defendant once more.
The defendant was questioned about what he did with the items he stole, and he replied that he sold them. When it came to the identity of the persons he sold them to, “Some people I don’t know, people from Leeward” was all he revealed.
He said he bought things to eat with the funds gained.
The prosecutor asked him if he bought things to smoke as well, to which the reply was, “Well you could say so.”
Deplesche commented, “thank God for CCTV.” “Your honour, people’s property belongs to them and people must be able to trade, do their business, without people like Peter coming to tief from them…,” he stated, adding that the defendant has been stealing for his whole life.
“No not all my life,” Dasouza maintained, and the prosecutor corrected “Half your life.”
The point was made that there were other convictions on his criminal record besides theft. The defendant attempted to feign ignorance at first by asking “like what?”
“But Peter seriously, you have to stop it,” the prosecutor told him once more.
Dasouza agreed “yeah” before turning his attention once more to being placed on a bond.
“You been there already too,” Delplesche told him.
This was disputed, before it was confirmed that he had indeed been placed on a bond, fined, had a suspended jail sentence, compensation ordered, and a term of imprisonment imposed.
“Peter you had the whole works…,” the senior prosecutor stated.
“This is one time where Peter ain paying for Paul, Peter paying for Peter. You agree with me?” he continued, reiterating to the defendant that he needs to stop.
“But you can give me a chance to prove meself man,” Dasouza persisted.
He asked for a bond again, and as for the money to repay the items, he said he would call his sister.
The magistrate told the defendant before standing down the matter for consideration: “I could tell you this much.
Placing you on a bond is out of the question,” noting that “day after day” he had walked in the hardware store, and walked out again. If she placed him on a bond he would do this again, she concluded.
“And brazen, brazen you doing it…” she added.
When she sentenced him a short while later, she did so using the guidelines, and made mention of the impact the theft would have on the business, and the planning that it took when considering the seriousness and consequences of the act.
In considering the aggravating factors, Browne noted an attempt to conceal identity. “Based on the CCTV footage too, we see additionally an attempt to conceal identity, by the use of mask and caps,” she said, telling him that he has used Covid-19 to try to further his illegal and unlawful acts, “So that is extremely aggravating.”
Further, his 22 previous convictions weighed heavily against him.
The magistrate did not find that there were any mitigating factors, but reduced the sentence because of his admission of guilt.
Five months imprisonment was the decided penalty for all charges, to run concurrently.