A man who stole from two stores in Kingstown over the weekend has suggested to the court that an employee of one of the business places was in on his crime.
The thief, Edwin Edwards, 50, has been remanded to prison until Friday, when Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett will sentence him for his crimes.
On Monday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Edwards pleaded guilty to charges:
- that on Dec. 3, at Kingstown, he stole one solar flood light, valued at EC$175, the property of Jax Enterprises Ltd.
- that on Dec. 5, at Kingstown, he stole three Venice curtains, valued at EC$90 and one Sanifer Hand Mixer, valued at EC$140, the property of Coreas City Store; and,
- that on Dec. 5, at Kingstown, he stole one LED lantern, valued at EC$29.99; one Brilliant Cook single burner stove, valued at EC$89.99, the property of Jax Enterprises Ltd.
According to the facts presented by Corporal Corlene Samuel, on Dec. 3, a storeroom worker at Jax was on duty around 3:05 p.m., when he saw the defendant enter the store with a backpack.
Edwards went into a corner of the store and placed a solar floodlight in his backpack.
The clerk informed other workers but when they checked, the defendant had left the store.
The matter was reported to the police and detective Constable Morgan conducted an investigation.
Then, on Dec. 5, about 6:32 p.m., the security officer at Jax saw Edwards enter the store. The guard recognised Edwards from the event on Dec. 3 and kept him under observation.
The security guard noticed Edwards taking up items and placing them in his bag.
The matter was reported to the police. PC Morgan entertained the report and went to Jax, where he met Edwards.
The detective informed Edwards of the report and cautioned him.
Edwards admitted to the offence.
The police recovered the items stolen on Dec. 5 but not the solar light stolen on Dec. 3.
Regarding the theft at Coreas City Store, after apprehending Edwards at Jax, the police found items in his bag with Coreas City Store tag.
They went to the store and a supervisor checked the inventory and found that the items were not paid for.
The store then made an official report and Edwards admitted to the offence.
In mitigation, the defendant said he is “a handyman” and considered himself to be employed.
“This is something I feel very remorseful about,” Edwards told the court. “People may tell themselves these things they happen by instinct,” he said.
Edwards told the court that he had told the police officer that a worker at Jax had asked him “to move the stuff” but that he did not want to give such a statement in writing.
However, when the court sought clarification on Edwards’ statement, he said:
“This is something discussed way after… When I come in you can go to a certain place and move certain things.
“The Coreas one is a different approach. I’m talking about Jax. You ask if it was my first occasion, because you talk about the solar panel.”
The magistrate asked Edwards if he had stolen items from Jax before the two occasions last weekend.
“I leave and I pick it up…” Edwards said, adding, “It ha’ many stores I could speak about in town.”
The magistrate asked Edwards how store workers find him to discuss these things.
The defendant said there is “word on the street with many things”.
The senior magistrate said there is never a dull day in the courtroom, adding that Edwards’ story was something new.
Burnett told Edwards that at his age, he knows what he was doing is wrong.
“Practically wrong,” the defendant said and told the court that he “really apologise” for his action.
Edwards told the court that he “probably” would keep the stolen items, and “might” have used the stove.
The magistrate told Edwards that because of the offences his name will go all over the world.
“How do you feel about that?”
Edwards said he “can’t stop it or decide that”.
Burnett further said that he did not know what to make of the defendant’s suggestion that a worker at the store played a role in the theft.
“You can be so easily influenced by others?” The magistrate said.
Edwards said he would not say it would be “an influence” but he might say he has “certain needs at a point in time”.
The defendant said he has no money saved in any financial institution but told the court that he wants to pay for the items.
The magistrate told him that he should have done that in the first place and noted that the floodlight was not recovered.
Edwards said he could bring it back but the magistrate noted to Edwards that he did not cooperate with the police when he was arrested.
The defendant said he gave the floodlight to a guy who sells around town but the man is not around town on Sundays.
Edwards said the man wanted to buy the floodlight but he told the man to hold it and the man gave him $30.
“I could go for it. I’m telling you it’s not a sell. If you give me one hour now, I can go for it,” the defendant said.