From the Courts
January 5, 2018
Software engineer let off with warning

Smart, but not smart enough to avoid capture, a youngster from India found himself in front of the Serious Offences Court last Friday on charges of theft.

Twenty-five-year-old software engineer Ritwik Saxena and his sister Annyaa, a medical student, were charged with theft at the Serious Offences Court last Friday.

However, the prosecution decided to withdraw the case against the sister, leaving only the brother to face the charge of theft of one Bijou Marisol human hair wig, worth $500 on December 20 from the store ‘Diamond Girl’ in Kingstown. Ritwik was also charged with stealing 10 Vincentian dark chocolate bars, worth $129.50 on December 23 from ‘Massy’ supermarket in Kingstown.

Both Saxenas had been seen by the manager of Diamond Girl on the date in question via the CCTV in the store. Ritwik was, according to police reports, captured removing a wig from the head of a mannequin, placing it in his bag and then leaving the store.

The police were informed of the incident and on December 28, while the brother and sister were walking in Kingstown, plain clothes officers recognized them and took them to the Criminal Investigations Department(CID). A search of Ritwik’s possessions revealed 10 bars of Vincentian dark chocolate, which he was then questioned about.

He apparently then said that he did not know about them, but further investigations revealed CCTV footage, showing the defendant taking the chocolate from the shelves of Massy Stores and placing them into the same bag they were found in by the police.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Ronald Marks, who appeared on their behalf, divulged the story of the siblings. Their mother was apparently a medical doctor, based in Dominica and her daughter a medical student. After Hurricane Maria, the defendant’s sister was evacuated to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and her brother travelled here to assist her.

The lawyer further divulged that after interacting with Ritwik, he seemed “to be of extremely high intelligence,” which Marks said is known to manifest itself in other ways. The lawyer also said that the situation was for Ritwik a “very embarrassing situation for him and his family” and that they were set to travel back to India sometime in January when their mother returns. The lawyer also made the point that the items were recovered and could be returned.

After a five-minute break, the court resumed and the case ended with the defendant being reprimanded and discharged, with a warning from the Chief Magistrate, who intoned, “Do not try that again.”

Making their way out of the court building last Friday, Ritwik hung his head so that his hair covered his face and bent his body in an effort to hide from the media cameras outside the court.(KR)