Neighbour’s CCTV catches burglar

CashWiz register helps with identification

A daytime residential burglary was captured on a closed circuit television camera, leading to the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of the perpetrator, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall heard in Summary Court last week. 

She was dealing with Nathania Rachel Chollette, 24, for whom she had fashioned a probation order of 4 July. 

Crown Counsel Laura Manson said the burglary occurred in George Town on 24 July; the male resident had already left for work and his wife and child left the house around noon. When they all returned together, a neighbour told them, “That girl came back and was looking around.” The neighbour’s CCTV showed a female entering the house. 

When police spoke to Chollette, she admitted breaking in and stealing perfume and jewellery, including rings, chains and a bracelet, with a total value of $3,500. 

Chollette was arrested on 9 August in connection with another burglary, this one reported a week earlier at a Seven Mile Beach condominium. The exact date of the burglary was not clear, as the complainant explained that the last time she wore her jewellery she had taken it off and put it in a drawer. When she next went to the drawer she noticed her ring box was ajar. She checked it and discovered items were missing. 

The woman attended the CashWiz store, where items taken were seen and identified. 

Ms Manson said the store’s record system documents “who brings items in and when”. Chollette’s name was recorded in connection with the jewellery. 

When Chollette was spoken to about this burglary, she initially said she had found it in a chair on the beach in front of the condos. Later she admitted entering the condo while the occupants were out on the balcony. She said she stole to get food for her little brothers. 

Defence attorney John Furniss confirmed that the jewellery had been recovered from CashWiz.  

The magistrate said that for her the aggravating feature of these offences was the fact that Chollette had just been placed on probation for attempted theft, possession and consumption of ganja. 

Mr. Furniss said Chollette had started to comply with the probation order by attending anger management and counselling sessions, but she still had issues regarding housing and a job. Her mother was unemployed and she was concerned about the children, the attorney summarised. 

“She was just beginning to settle down and respond to your order,” he suggested, describing the offences as walk-in or opportunistic. 

Chollette didn’t like being in custody and now realised the position she was in, Mr. Furniss said. A pre-sentence report referred to her lack of coping skills. Under those circumstances, he wondered whether the magistrate would allow the probation order to continue so that Chollette would get the skills she needed, start work and not commit 
any more offences. 

The magistrate’s said Chollette deserved credit for her guilty pleas and cooperation after an initial denial. She pointed out that not only had the defendant committed these two burglaries so soon after being placed on probation but also, after police bailed her, she had stolen cigarettes and a lighter from the residence of someone 
she knew. 

Finding no basis for the probation order to continue, the magistrate imposed sentences of 12 months each for the burglaries, but made them run concurrent along with concurrent sentences for the theft, resisting arrest and the offences for which probation was 
originally ordered.  

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