Crime — 18 July 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

The trial of two men who were facing charges of burglary and handling stolen goods in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, for an incident which occurred in 2009, was concluded on Friday by Magistrate Narda Morgan.

Albert Woodeye was found guilty of handling stolen goods and ordered to pay $1,000 forthwith, which he was able to pay, and he was released, while Rene Rivera was given a 3-year jail sentence for burglary.

Police say that on a Friday night at about 9:00 p.m. in February, 2009, Rivera and Woodeye, along with another man who is still at large, burglarized the home of Cayo resident Godwin Sutherland, in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Cayo District. After burglarizing the house, the men allegedly set the house on fire.

Police said that they were alerted about the fire, and that a van was driving away from the area loaded with goods.

Police quickly responded, and were travelling on the road towards San Antonio when they intercepted the van between Cristo Rey and San Antonio.

The van allegedly was packed with household furniture and other construction materials, and the driver identified himself as Rene Rivera, 26, a mechanic of Santa Familia, Cayo District.

Police were told by the men that they had gone to get the items from the house in the Mountain Pine Ridge area.

The two men, Albert Woodeye and Rene Rivera, were arrested and charged with handling stolen goods and Rivera was charged with burglarizing the house, and they were additionally charged with arson. The men pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on bail.

Police said that the arson charge was withdrawn against the men.

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