Crime General — 05 August 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Orange Walk couple charged with handling stolen goods for attorney’s iPad

An Orange Walk man and his wife were brought to the Magistrate’s Court from the Ladyville police station along with two court books, charging them for theft and handling stolen goods in connection with an attorney’s iPad that he had reported as being stolen.

Ernesto Cruz, 54, and his wife, Anna Christina Cruz, 52, who are residents of Hummingbird Street, Orange Walk Town, and the owners of A&E Bakery, located at Ramon’s Plaza in Ladyville, appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton along with their attorney, Hubert Elrington, S.C., this afternoon.

Panton read the charge of theft to the couple, but then noticed after they had pleaded not guilty, that there was a second court book in which police were also charging them for handling stolen goods.

The Magistrate explained to the court prosecutor that he would not read the two charges to the couple, because a person cannot be charged with theft and handling stolen goods at the same time, so he would have to decide which of the two charges they would proceed with.

The prosecutor told the Magistrate that he would withdraw the charge of theft and proceed with the handling stolen goods charge.

Panton apologized to the couple for reading the theft charge which was withdrawn by the prosecutor, then he arraigned them on the handling stolen goods charge.

Police are alleging that sometime between July 18 and 29, the couple handled a stolen Apple iPad, valued at $1,500 (along with its case valued at $200), which is the property of attorney Arthur Saldivar, the Opposition People’s United Party standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency.

Both Ernesto and Ann pleaded not guilty. There was no objection to granting them bail and they were each released on a $1,000 bail and one surety of the same amount.

According to Elrington, a woman who had gone to the bakery to make a purchase had left the iPad on the counter and walked out. His clients, not knowing who the owner was, placed the iPad in a lost and found box.

Saldivar, however, told the media that the iPad was tracked by its GPS program to a residence in Orange Walk Town, and then back to the bakery in Ladyville.

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