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$73,400 burglary of electronics store Print E-mail
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Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00

Police have arrested and charged seven men following the burglary at a popular electronics store in Belize City. On Wednesday November 30th police escorted Derrick Pineda, 20, his younger brother, 19-year-old Darrel Pineda, both of #6422 Marigold Lane, along with parolee, Darrell Gray, 28, an employee of CYDP; as well as 19-year-old Francis Arana, a resident of #3 Lavender Street; Jeremy Bernard, 19, a student of #6807 Olivera Street; Samuel Halliday, 19, a student of #38 Mahogany Street, Belize City and a 16-year-old minor to court. They appeared before Magistrate Dorothy Flowers where no plea was taken as the decision has not been made whether the men will be tried summarily or on indictment.


In Court, the prosecutor objected to bail stating that there is strong evidence against them as they were caught in the act. He added that it is likely that the group of people could prejudice the case and if granted bail, they could very well commit other offenses. The court prosecutor also asked the court to take into consideration the severity of the punishment, which is 5 to 7 years on conviction on a crime of this nature. Before making her decision, Magistrate Flowers asked the men to give her reasons why she should not remand them.

Gray told the court that the police officer involved in the case has a beef with him because of a previous misunderstanding over a girl he claims both were dating years ago.  He said that the officer just wants to see him go back to jail because he knows he is a parolee out for some months now and that if he should be accused of committing an offense while out on parole, he can get into trouble and even have his parole revoked.  He claimed that he is innocent and that he and the minor were together at a club not too far from the burglary when the police came and arrested them and told them they were the ones, who burglarized the business place. He told the court that he was pistol whipped by the officer.  The minor in the presence of his mother told the court that he was innocent of the charge and that he was only picked up because he was along with Gray. Arana said that he was also at the same club with Gray and the minor and was nowhere near or inside the store. Bernard on his behalf said tat bail should be considered because he is a student and wants to continue his education. For their part, Halliday and the Pineda brothers claimed some form of responsibility for the crime.  Halliday told the court that he is a student and that he knows the victim that is why he gave back everything he had.  He further told the court that if he is granted bail in this matter, he will help to pay back for the missing items.  The Pineda brothers also implicated themselves in the alleged crime.  Darrel told the court that he is working right now and that he never needed to be in this right now and that they had returned everything. Derrick said that this is his first offense and that going into that place was a big mistake and that he was sorry.After hearing what they had to say, Magistrate Flowers upheld the prosecutor’s objection to bail and remanded them all into custody at the Hattieville Prison with the exception of the minor who was remanded to the Belize Youth Hostel.  The group of 7 are due back in Court #6 on December 30.  

In a report to police, businessman Bassem Chakaroun reported that sometime between Saturday, November 26 and Monday, November 28, his business place located at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard was burglarized and stolen were a number of laptop computers, television sets, video games, iPods, iPhones, cellular phones, still picture cameras and video cameras, cash and jewelry and other electronics all valued $73,400.00. We understand that a huge hole was found in the building where the culprits managed to gain entry into the store, Gadgets. Police have since reviewed a surveillance camera that assisted them in their investigation.