BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 3, 2015–A woman who has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty was remanded to prison this morning after she was arraigned on charges of burglary and handling stolen goods.
Margareta Noralez Pech, 33, a housekeeper of 23 Amara Avenue, pleaded not guilty to the two charges when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
The allegation against Pech is that on May 29, she entered, as a trespasser, the home of Kelsey Musa, located at 10 Eyre Street, and stole an assortment of jewelry and other items valued at $3,235.
Pech was unable to convince the court that she should be granted bail after the court prosecutor made strong objections why she should be remanded to prison.
The prosecutor told the court, “The accused was caught on camera inside the house, and I would like the court to take into consideration the severity of the penalty if the accused is found guilty.”
“It is likely that the defendant will not return to court, if granted bail”, the prosecutor said.
He added, “Burglary is a prevalent offense and the police are still doing investigations in this particular case, and if the defendant is released on bail, she might interfere with the investigation, since all the items that were stolen have not yet been recovered.”
Pech told the court that the police searched her house and did not find the majority of the stolen items, because she doesn’t have them. She said that although she went into the house, she did not do so of her own free will.
Pech alleged that a man from Taylor’s Alley, whose name she gave to police, took her to the location at knife-point, and threatened that he would “cut me up, if I never gone inside and bring out the things.”
“I reported this young man to the police on more than one occasion,” Pech told the Senior Magistrate.
Pech also attempted to dispute that she has a criminal record for crimes of dishonesty. When it was pointed out to her that she has previous convictions, Pech blurted out, “I nuh have no record.”
Court records, however, confirmed that Pech had been convicted of burglary, for which she spent a five-year prison term. She was also convicted of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Under the new amendment to the law, Pech could be facing 10 years behind bars if she is convicted of the burglary charge.