Shane Daniel Jeremiah Polin was today sentenced to a total of six calendar years in jail after he confessed to snatching 18 handbags from cars over the past several months.
Polin, of Bartlett’s Tenantry, Sargeants Village, Christ Church, appeared before Magistrate Douglas Frederick in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court.
Based on the facts which Station Sergeant Neville Watson presented, the 30-year-old repeat offender mostly snatched the bags from inside lady-driven vehicles while they were stuck in traffic. The women’s bags were on the front passenger seats.
Some drivers were waiting for stop lights to change, others were forced to slow down because of road works and, in a few cases, the victims were front seat passengers who were holding the bags on their laps.
The vehicles were travelling along Rendezvous Hill, Christ Church, Pine Plantation Road and BET Hill, St Michael or close to the Garfield Sobers Roundabout, Christ Church when the incidents occurred.
A few of the complainants had their handbags returned to them after they were found by members of the public with some form of identification inside. However, no cash or any other valuables were found.
Additionally, in cases where Polin had told police he had disposed of the stolen items in garbage bins, they recovered nothing.
Attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at’s mitigation was presented on three grounds. He submitted that the court ought to take into account Polin’s early guilty plea, his remorse and the fact that his actions had been affected by his cocaine addiction.
The defence lawyer cited cases with similar circumstances where the convicted person had been given a significant discount on jail time based on the aforementioned.
Ma’at also told the court that Polin had attended Verdun House in 2009 and, according to reports, had done very well during his nine months there. It was “his return to the same environment” afterwards that had caused his “downfall”, he said.
“That has been his problem from then until now,” the lawyer submitted, “because no rational thinking person could snatch so many handbags in such a short space of time”.
Magistrate Frederick agreed with the attorney’s submissions and said he would take those things into consideration when sentencing. He made clear, however, that “this type of offence calls for prison”.
The magistrate’s major issue was that when the dates of the crimes were examined, “it looks as though he planned it and on several dates, somebody became the victim of this criminal enterprise”.
The magistrate therefore hoped that sentencing the robber to four months to run consecutively on each count, would be enough time for Polin to “get the treatment necessary which would hopefully make him a useful member of society when he returns”.
Drug rehabilitation was also ordered for Polin during his jail term.
Polin is scheduled to reappear before the District ‘C’ Magistrates Court on Wednesday, when Magistrate Christopher Birch is expected to sentence him for the five similar offences which occurred within the Oistins jurisdiction.
The total value of all the stolen items was just under $22,000.