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Qualified thief, with years of experience sent to prison

Qualified thief, with years of  experience sent to  prison
Curtis Joseph

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A transformer from Jax Enterprises Ltd vanished after the man captured on CCTV footage stealing it got into a fight with the shop’s security.

However, Curtis Joseph, a 48-year-old of Long Wall/Sion Hill must pay for this theft through prison time.

Monday, June 8, is the second time that Joseph has been to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court in a month, as he was brought before Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett on May 8 for swiping a bottle of rum from Randy’s Supermarket.

This time Joseph appeared before the court for the theft, on June 5, of a step up/down transformer, worth EC$125, from the department store.

On this day, Thomas O’Garro, employed as a security guard at Jax Enterprises Ltd, was observing the CCTV at around 2:04 pm.

He noticed Joseph walk into the electrical department and take up the transformer, before putting it in the crotch of his pants.

The security guard saw Joseph pass the cashier without paying for the item, and leave the store.

The security guard caught up with Joseph in the gallery outside the store and the two began wrestling. Both fell to the ground during this tussle.

However, O’Garro was assisted and Joseph taken back into the store. However, the transformer was not recovered, and although the police searched the area of the fight, and even the gutter, the transformer was still nowhere to be found.

The box that contained the transformer was handed over to the police.

The senior magistrate commented that the faces in the courtroom looked to be perplexed.

Joseph explained that he put back the transformer before he left the store. He submitted that he took that decision after he realized he was being watched.

He also contended that he had been charged wrongly, and that he should have been charged for “attempted” theft.

Lawyer Linton Lewis, who happened to be present in court for another matter, explained to the defendant that once he showed the intention to permanently deprive he was guilty of theft. Lewis submitted that from the moment that the defendant put the transformer in his crotch, he had formed that intention and was guilty of theft.

The magistrate asked the defendant if he was working, and Joseph replied that his employers said they would call him when they are ready.

Burnett said he was going back to the point that he has been making recently, and had made earlier that morning with another case.

He pointed out that the defendant’s career started in 1991, and “you have been consistent throughout your life.”

The senior magistrate told Joseph that from the time he commenced his career, nothing has changed.

He commented on the short period of time between when he was last before him on May 8, 2020.

In 2019 the defendant was convicted for burglarizing the Ace Hardware; “in 2017 it was Coreas”; in early 2015 his target was Coreas Hazells, and Laynes and Twin City Store have also fallen victim to him according to his record.

In the end, the magistrate decided that a three-month prison sentence would be appropriate in this case.

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