Thief gets conditional sentence for stealing tools

POSTED: 01/10/13 12:52 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Giovanni Valerio Engelhardt to a 6-month suspended prison sentence and 60 hours of community service for a theft at the office of contractor Betonbouw on November 18 of last year. The 44-year-old defendant had already put a box with power tools and another bag with tools near the door when the police arrived on the scene and caught him red-handed.

Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp said that, even though the defendant had not yet taken the tools out of the building, he had completed the theft because the stolen goods were within his reach as soon as he had put them in the box near the door. She demanded a 9-month prison sentence.

Attorney Brenda Brooks asked the court to give her client a very last chance.

Judge Tamara Tijhuis considered the theft proven but ruled that a second charge, for breaking into the office, could not be proven. Engelhardt claimed that he had entered the office when he saw that the door was open. “I cannot exclude the possibility that what you say is true,” the judge said.

But the court also told Engelhardt that he should keep his hands off other people’s property. “You have been told this numerous times so you were a warned man,” Judge Tijhuis said, referring to the countless convictions the defendant has to his name.

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