Desperation over not finding a job is not a goodenough reason to snatch handbags!
That advice came from Magistrate Douglas Frederick as he chastised two young men who pleaded guilty before him this afternoon.
In fact, the magistrate felt certain that Jeremy Che Weekes, 21, of Lovell Drive, Welches Terrace and Chad Chante Chandler, 19, of Block 6E, Ivy, both in St. Michael, had just made their job search harder, since they now had nothing on “all those persons who have never broken the law but want the same jobs you want.”
When the two entered the District ‘A’ Magistrate Court dock at 3 p.m., they wasted no time in pleading guilty to the charges of stealing a handbag and its contents, belonging to Jon Barhorst. That bag had two cellular phones, two hats, a pair of sunglasses, asthma medication and other items, totalling $4,802.90 in value.
Weekes confessed to an additional count of stealing a bag containing a cellular phone and cash belonging to Argentinian visitor Leandro Carlos Paz this week as well. The bag and it contents were worth BD$995 altogether.
According to the facts which Station Sergeant Neville outlined, Barhrst and his family came to the island on February 13 and planned to leave on the 20th.
On Monday, they went to lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant in the Hilton Hotel. They carried a bag at the time. After eating, they went to a beach adjacent to the hotel and it was during that time they realised their bag was missing.
They checked the restaurant and surrounding areas but could not find their property.
Meanwhile, Weekes was taken into police custody yesterday. He had the Barhorst’s bag and one cellular phone. When police questioned him, he told them he had given the other phone to his friend Chad Chandler.
Chandler’s and Weekes’ homes were searched and a phone and a pair of shades were found at Chandler’s.
Weekes informed the police that he threw the other items from the bag into the garbage and the garbage truck had since made a pick-up.
In relation to Paz, he and his girlfriend were relaxing on the sand at Brownes Beach, when they noticed a man exercising nearby. They eventually went into the water leaving their bag on the beach, but soon saw Weekes take up the bag and run off.
They gave chase assisted by two police officers – Sergeant Moore who was in the area of the Bay Street Esplanade and a constable Griffith, a police motorcyclist.They caught up with Weekes close to the Diagnostic Clinic.
When Weekes was told to speak on his behalf, he said he was currently doing some CXC’s and had a part-time job.
“But why would you get involved in this sort of thing, a young fellow studying and has a job?” the magistrate asked.
Weekes explained that his job was only part-time and at the time of the incident he had worked but had not been paid.
Further, he said, “this is weeks and weeks, even months that me and he send out CV’s; over and over…”
It is then that the magistrate interjected and informed Weekes that it would now be more difficult for him to find a job, especially since he would no longer have “a clean certificate of character”.
Chandler explained that his parents were no longer working and he was recently laid off from a supermarket.
“So why you had to turn to crime? You couldn’t cut lawns, wash cars, something other than crime?” Frederick queried.
“It wasn’t really planned; it just happen,” he said, “it was wrong.”
“I hate to see young people wasting their lives like this,” Magistrate Frederick told both first-time offenders, “but you all are on the wrong track.”
He then adjourned the case until March 17 and remanded the pair to HMP Dodds until then.