Court gets serious with theft prone woman
After multiple chances given to her by the courts over the years, a 45-year-old woman prone to theft ran out of luck this week, and was sentenced to jail time of two months.
Natasha/Latisha Allen had been put on a bond by the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court in June of this year, for stealing four packs of roasted almonds and five packs of another item, together valued at $58.87, the property of Coreas Minimart.
And on Wednesday, October 28, she pleaded guilty before the same magistrate, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, this time for stealing one stainless steel mug valued $28 from Jax Enterprises Ltd on October 9.
The Lowman’s Leeward resident had initially gotten away with the theft, as the store did not pick up on the missing product until October 13. On this day, store security was patrolling when he noticed a box on the shelf. Taking this box up, he realized that it was empty. He asked a store clerk nearby about this, and the clerk told the security that he had just taken up the box from the bottom shelf and he was going to report that it was empty. The security camera footage was reviewed, and it was revealed that at approximately 3:22 pm on October 9, the defendant, who “is also known in that store”, according to the facts prepared by the police, was seen opening the said box and taking out the mug.
She took the mug into the area of the store that displays tools, and threw the box underneath the shelf, taking the mug with her, but not paying for it.
The matter was reported to the police, who carried out investigations. On Monday, October 26, Allen was picked up while at Jax Enterprises after the security informed the police that she was there.
The defendant volunteered a statement admitting to the offence. The stolen mug was found after a search of the defendant’s home.
The defense counsel for Allen, Karl Williams, asked that the court not impose a prison sentence on his client.
“Can I answer that right away Mr Williams, you’re going to fail with that one. Go ahead,” the magistrate told him.
The counsel continued, “…but actually to allow her to pay compensation with regard to this present offence.”
Burnett advised him “I could answer you right away counsel – not this morning.” “Go ahead you have to do your job but I’m responding,” he added.
Williams asked that she be given the opportunity to pay the amount of the bond, and then a fine or compensation imposed for the recent offence.
The court then turned its attention towards the criminal record for the 45-year-old. “In 2012, she stole a Blackberry phone from somebody valued $1200, right in this court she was placed on a bond for six months. That’s one,” Burnett listed.
In 2018, she entered Massy stores, and stole groceries, for which the court bonded her. Then she was brought for a June 11 offence, and now for an October 9 theft.
“So on the 9th of October she went in to Jax Enterprise, she thought she got away and then she went back in the same Jax, maybe she went back to do the same thing,” the magistrate concluded.
“How would a court, having regard to a defendant like that ask her to pay compensation? Not this morning, not in this courtroom.”
“It is time for the court to get tough with her…and I’m going to be tough with her this morning,” Burnett added.
Prosecutor Corlene Samuel rose to add that the last time Allen came to the court, the court tried with her. “We sent her for some evaluation as well to find out exactly what was going on,” but it was revealed that she was “good.”
The magistrate told the defendant that for this crime she was going to jail. “That is the only how I can get you to stop,” he commented. Allen attempted to promise that she wasn’t going to do it again, but the magistrate said that she wasn’t going to change his mind, noting “You said that the last time.”
“Once my mind is made up on a sentence having regard to the facts and circumstances, I do not change my mind. You have to stop,” Burnett stated.
0The previous bond that she was placed on was activated and so if she did not pay $750 forthwith, she would spend five months in prison.
However, for this offence was sentenced to two months incarceration.
If the terms of the bond could not be met, the default prison term would run consecutively to her recent sentence.