By FARRAH JOHNSON
A 28-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison for breaking into a tailor’s shop and stealing over $2,000 worth of goods while the national curfew was in effect.
Cardinal Bowe appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis charged with breaking into the Stitch Masters Shop last week and stealing 452 T-shirts valued at $1,590.31; a cloth cutter valued at $481; a $90 cutting glove; $35 tailoring scissors and a $100 cloth hand cutter.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to two years at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services for each count, which the magistrate ordered to run concurrently.
According to the prosecution, around 11.10pm on April 13, Brendalee Johnson, the Stitch Masters Shop’s owner, was alerted by her alarm company about movement inside her store. This prompted her and her daughter to go to the building and on their way they passed some officers who they asked to accompany them.
When they arrived at the store, they found the back door open, locks damaged and three large holes in the wall. The prosecution said T-shirts in the showcase were missing and two duffle bags with men and women’s clothing were stolen. As a result Mrs Johnson made an official complaint, prompting officers to launch an investigation. Mrs Johnson told officers that the last time she had been in her store was sometime in March before the COVID-19 lockdown. She also said she had not given anyone permission to enter her store either. On Friday, April 17 Mrs Johnson’s daughter, Diamond Johnson, told police that she had received a call from her brother in reference to a man on Poinciana Drive selling stolen items from his vehicle, which he believed belonged to their mother.
Acting on this information, police arrested Cardinal Bowe, who denied breaking into the store during an interview with police. Instead, he said on the night in question, he had seen Marvin Rolle on the road with a big black suitcase. Still, when officers arrested Rolle, he told them on the night of the break-in, he was at home when Bowe pulled him on the side and told him he knew of something that could make them some quick cash.
Rolle said he put on clothes and accompanied Bowe to the tailor shop where he watched Bowe pry open the door with a crowbar. He also said once they got in the store, he told Bowe stealing a bunch of T-shirts did not make any sense because they wouldn’t sell well. Still, he admitted to helping Bowe take the stolen items out of the shop. This resulted in officers conducting a search of Bowe’s premises where they found the stolen items. They were shown to Mrs Johnson on April 20 and she positively identified them as items stolen from her shop. As a result, Bowe was cautioned and charged.
Bowe was represented by attorney Anthony Forbes who told Magistrate Rolle-Davis his client was remorseful. He also said Bowe was a self-employed handyman who had run out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting Bowe had not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty at the first opportunity, he asked the magistrate for mercy and not to impose a custodial sentence.
While Magistrate Davis-Rolle said he acknowledged Mr Forbes’ mitigation plea, he insisted Bowe’s offence was one that required a custodial sentence since his actions posed a threat to the public.