Police crack case of school’s 78 stolen laptops
Six persons have been charged in relation to an incident in which the St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua (SJCM) was broken into, and 78 laptops stolen.
Earlier this week, police in a release said that investigations into a break in and theft of 78 Acer laptops from the secondary school were ongoing.
On Wednesday, six young defendants were hauled before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court to be charged in relation to the incident.
However, Junior Richardson was the only one of the six who is yet alleged to have been involved in the actual act of breaking in and stealing the computers.
Richardson, of Cane End, was charged that between April and November 19, he did enter the school as a trespasser and steal 50 Acer laptops, valued at $25,000, the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
He was further charged that between these dates, at Cane End, he did, knowing or believing 20 Acer laptops to be stolen goods, dishonestly receive them for his own benefit.
The young defendant was not required to plea to these offences as they are set for preliminary inquiry.
In reflection of the value of the items that are alleged to have been stolen, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett set bail in the sum of $25,000, with one surety. The condition of reporting to the Mesopotamia police station every Monday, was also ordered.
Four other men, Ronnel Nanton, Michael Thomas, Kesron Richardson, and Fego Pope, residents of the Cane End area, were each charged with handling stolen goods, namely one Acer laptop each, between April and November 19.
They all pleaded not guilty to the offence, and bail was set in the sum of $1,000, with one surety for each.
The last individual charged with handling stolen goods, was a 14-year-old student of the school, who was charged with handling one Acer laptop, between April and November 19.
The boy pleaded not guilty, with his mother standing beside him by the dock.
The prosecutor indicated that she would like all matters to be transferred to the Serious Offences Court, because they are dealing with the same facts.
However, the senior magistrate, in light of the fact that the defendant was a minor, noted that “There’s a reason why that court (the Serious Offences Court) was given that name.”
Defence attorney Grant Connell who was at the bar table at this time, also expressed that a “little school child” should not be put into “that environment.”
The magistrate stopped him, indicating that he had intended to send the matter to the Family Court.
“I am going to send it to the Family Court because in my opinion that’s where this matter should go,” he stated.
Therefore, the teenager was released into his mother’s care, and he was told to appear at the Family Court yesterday.
All of the other defendants will next appear at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, November 26.
The Commissioner of Police, Colin John and other rank and file of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, would like to thank the general public for assisting the Police with their investigations and which has helped in effecting the arrest of persons.