Security guard Lincoln Small exits the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court after the proceedings on Monday. (iWN photo)

A 49-year-old Lodge Village security guard who said he stole EC$200 because he fell on hard times was ordered to repay the $40 that he used from the amount and was reprimanded and discharged.

At the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett noted to the security guard, Lincoln Small, that he had put in jeopardy the job he held with Guardsman for the past three years.

At the time of his court appearance, the man had not told his employers that he had been arrested and charged.

Small pleaded guilty to a charge that on July 11, at Kingstown, he stole EC$200 in cash, the property of Digicel.

The court heard that Akeem Soleyn, an employee of The Cell, a Digicel store on Egmont Street, Kingstown, left the money wrapped in a white form on his desk and went to lunch around 1 p.m. last Thursday.

When Soleyn returned to work an hour later, he observed that the money and the paper were missing.

Soleyn and a co-worker viewed the CCTV footage, which showed Small removing the money from the desk.

The police were called in and Small admitted to taking the money and handed over EC$160 to them.

Small, who had no previous convictions, told the court that he has six children four of whom live with him.

The children’s mother, who is unemployed, does not live with them, and he is both their mother and father, Small told the court.

“That’s a good thing. It’s not often you hear that,” the senior magistrate commented.

Small said he has been under financial pressure since the children’s mother lost her job in September.

“Kids in school, security guard salary,” he told the court, adding that he normally credit groceries at a shop, resulting in a monthly bill of about EC$400.

He said that when he told the grocer that he wanted to discontinue the credit arrangement, the balance was $600.

“This is not normal behaviour,” Small said of his theft, adding, “They say pressure does buss pipe.”

The magistrate told Small that as a security guard he ought to know that CCTV cameras are widely used throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I could be walking in the street and meet a friend and greet her in a particular way; that is recorded on camera,” Burnett said.

He told the man that he might lose his job when Guardsman finds out about his actions.

Digicel is one of the firms in SVG to which Guardsman provide security services.

Small told the court that he left the full EC$200 that he stole at home, in the place where he normally leaves money for use in maintaining the home.

He said that the children used EC$40 of it, but he was not sure what for. 

“This is a hard one, definitely” the magistrate responded. “A man is employed, salary is not enough to take care of the home, he yields to temptation, is caught, enters a guilty plea, but may lose his job as well. That is going to make it worse for the family. I don’t think he is lying. He strikes me a s a genuine person.” 

Small told the court that in stealing the money, he had done what he tells his children not to do.

Burnett told Small that he has to understand that the whole world is going to hear about him as journalists were in the courtroom.

“They media is here. They have their responsibility as well,” Burnett said.

Meanwhile, when given an opportunity to address the court, Soleyn said that before hearing Small’s explanation, he had narrowed down the man’s crime to greed or financial strain.

He made no comments on sentencing, leaving that entirely up to the court.

Small told the court that he did not have $40 there and then to compensate Digicel, but could borrow it before noon.

When ordered to compensate Digicel in the sum of EC$40, Small left the court and returned a few minutes later with the EC$40.

Burnett reprimanded and discharged the man, saying that he had suffered enough as a result of his actions.

19 replies on “Security guard steals $200, cites financial strain”

  1. This is truly heart breaking. It’s an eye opener of the economic situation in Svg so very sad

  2. Boy these things does upset the very fiber of my being… Y’all have no problem exposing people who butt up on hard times and are forced to try make ends meet other way but when the bombocloth rapist Dem and molesters Dem get catxh, alyo ah hide name and face… Real frigging backwards dawg

  3. No excuse, some Vincentians are to darn thief. They have the ability to steal the milk out of the coffee pot.

  4. I know he is wrong, but no one knows what this man is going through. This story brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes the press need to know when not to report to the world. This is surely embarrassing for him and his children, but hey, hope something good/positive comes from it.

    1. Sohanjeet Singh says:

      Relax bro Security Guard. Whatever you did is forgiven by great Judge. Thanks to that judge. Great justice.

  5. Mica country Montreal, Quebec Canada says:

    i felt this man plight . Hardship and deperation result in such action. I sense a form of honesty in this young man situation. Being a singe parent having so much mouth to fed sent to school not an easy task more or less his salary can’t meet ends . I am not saying what he did is right thing to do but as a father he shouldn’t allowed temptation to get the best of him . On this note i do hope he will learn from his mistake and therefore his employer would be more humanistic and show some empathy and compassion regarding to the circumstances without any form of dismissal. Give him a second chance.

  6. Juujuu Richardson says:

    Tears in my eyes so sorry for him I didn’t give him the right to steal the money but time is very very hard crying I really enter into his feelings

  7. There are too much idle lands in St Vincent. I heard the voices of b leading heart liberala echoing in my ears.

  8. Totally agree, his employer should give him another chance maybe post him away from financial institutions or suspend him for a short time but not dismiss him outright. What he did was obviously wrong but putting him out of a job may cause his children to go hungry or be out of school for a while. These are serious repercussions and this is how some children turn to crime at an early stage. Hope this is a valuable lesson learned on his part.

  9. Dennis Connell says:

    I am not saying what he did was right, but you have to walk in a man’s shoes to feel his pain. This man is struggling to feed his kids. He has nothing. What about those rich greedy suckers that have so much and still frigging steal? Stupppppeeeeesssss.

  10. Poor he, we sure are suffering in SVG and as one individual has put it, time’s sure tough dread and our life is sure hard. Hard, hard, hard!

    But watch yah noh dread, perhaps this man shoud ah tie ah knot in ah it, rather dan produce so many offspring when im know times ah already so hard.

    All Vincentian Life is here in Bob Marley’s lyrics, an true we know it, but ah wah we ah go do?
    Bob Marley “no woman no cry”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGqrvn3q1oo

    Fe we Babylon ah press we hard but im say ah nah him we pressure ah come fram somewhere else but Jah know:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVEmRnaGu7U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za01QWLXisQ
    live – Burnin’ and Lootin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWxupF4OCD4

  11. Dee Patterson says:

    So, sad to hear this, it is a worldwide problem.
    People working hard and the money not covering anything while the fat cats continue to get rich.

  12. His action has placed his children in dire state. He has to be fired and no one will hire a thief. I am more concerned about the children and think they will need help. So why don’t the cry-babies start a small outfit to help the poor in SVG. Get some info about the family and send $5 weekly or $20 a month to help them.
    Next step is to vote for a government that can convince you it will provide assistance and work to family like this one. The ministry of health can start a process to advise women in financial situation to tie-off their tubes after 2 or 3 children. There is no need to produce children who may suffer because of situation like this one.

  13. JOSHUA RICHARDSON says:

    Hard times indeed. I am happy that Senior Magistrate Burnett gave him a second chance. The onus is now on him to “Go and defraud no more”

  14. David Wilson says:

    Thou shall not steal thief think before you commit the crime your reputation is at stake !

  15. Teach a man to fish and he will have food for life, However, give a man a fish and he would have food for a day. To start a fund to give to the poor is to ensure he is trapped in a viscous cycle of poverty.

  16. You are absolutely correct JOSÉ for the problem of our country and its peoples all stems from the misguided and failed economic policies of the Gonsalves family dictatorship, as is readily seen likewise in today’s Venezuela, once the richest country in South America.

    Now just look at it today, where despite all of its oil resources, over 4 million of its people are looking for a better life in neighbouring countries and those who can’t make it out are suffering deprivations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7zMF8Bgkb0

    Our own once enterprise culture have been replaced by one of dependency on government. A government that begs its way around the world for its own income support too. What foolishness! These are most certainly desperate times for us all.

Comments are closed.