Surveillance cameras catches car battery thief red handed

By: Gavincia Clarke

(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- Habitual law breaker Cleve David appeared before Her Honor, Magistrate Yasmine Clarke at the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 for larceny and three (3) traffic violations.

Cleve David
Cleve David

Sherlon James of Spring Hill Estate who works at TDC in the Rental Department stated in court that on March 16, 2013 at about 4:45 p.m. Ms Hobson called him and said that she was finished with the vehicle RA858. According to James, he informed Hobson to park the vehicle, ensure all the doors were locked and place the keys under the mat. Later that said evening James said he checked the vehicle, secured it and parked it to the front of FND Building until the following morning.

He further stated that he returned the following morning at about 9: 30 a.m. and realized that the vehicle was moved and parked in front of Slack’s Building. Mr. James said he attempted to start the vehicle but he had no luck. Later he realized that the vehicle battery was removed.

Manager of the City Drug Store, Mr. Laughton Herbert also gave evidence on behalf of the Prosecution. He stated that on March 18, 2013 he was asked by the TDC Rental Department to review the outside surveillance camera because one of the company’s batteries was removed from a vehicle.

After following instructions, Mr. Herbert said he discovered that the said vehicle was driven into the parking lot in the early morning. He further stated that he saw what appeared to be a male figure in a white t-shirt jumping out of the vehicle. He also stated that the person proceeded to open the bonnet of the vehicle and took out an item.

The critical evidence against the accused was that of Constable Leon Michael of the Traffic Department. According to the officer after reviewing the surveillance cameras he was able to identify the defendant driving the vehicle and parking it where it was later found. The camera caught him getting out of the vehicle and removing a battery from the bonnet. The Constable said one of the cameras caught him directly in his face.

The officer also disclosed in court that Mr. David was not a registered driver with a license.

David did not have much to say after cameras from the City Drug Store and those of a nearby lawyer’s office caught him red-handed. Softly and nervously, David still denied driving the vehicle but admitted to stealing the battery.

Her Honor, Magistrate Clarke stated that she was convinced that the person who drove the car was the person who stole the battery. She mentioned that the evidence clearly showed that the vehicle was driven into the parking lot and soon after the hood was popped and an individual removed the battery.

The Magistrate asked the accused how he got into the vehicle. He admitted that the door was opened and he removed the key. She informed him because of his honesty she would reduce the sentence of three (3) years that she planned to mete out to two (2) 2 years in prison. David further admitted that he sold the battery for $125.00 E.C.

David begged the court not to impose a custodial sentence but to charge him a fine. The Magistrate refused and read his antecedence that revealed the accused had 14 convictions since 2005.

For the charge of stealing he received one year imprisonment, six months for driving without a license and another six months for using a vehicle without consent. His sentences will run consecutively.

David’s ‘honesty’ may have caused him to serve two years rather than three years behind the over populated prison walls of Her Majesty Prison, St Kitts.

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