Burglar sentenced to 9 months

POSTED: 10/13/11 12:46 PM

St. Maarten – Maurice Serafine learned the consequences of not knowing your rights the hard way yesterday when the Court in First Instance sentenced him to 9 months for a burglary on May 23 and for fencing stolen goods on June 13.
Serafine, 23, was arrested on June 13, after a report about a burglary in Mary’s Fancy. Police stopped his car that had been described to police officers as “suspicious.” Judge mr. M. Keppels acknowledged in her ruling that a report about a suspicious car is insufficient ground to stop it. This is why Serafine’s attorney mr. Hatzmann argued during the trial that his client’s arrest was unlawful and that therefore the evidence officers found in the car had to be excluded.
Judge Keppels dismissed the argument, because, after the police stopped him, Serafine had given the officers permission to search his car. They found a laptop under the driver’s seat and a camera bag containing a large amount of loose coins. Serafine was unable to give the officers a good explanation for the presence of these goods.
The court found no proof that Serafine committed the burglary in Mary’s Fancy, though a co-suspect stated to investigators that he had dropped him off in this neighborhood on the day of the burglary. When he picked him up one hour later, Serafine was in the possession of the laptop and a camera.
The burglary on May 23 occurred in a house at the King of the Sea road in Sucker Garden. Together with others, Serafine stole a there laptop and a fishing line.

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