Car thieves caught in Marino sting – court told

Two men yesterday accused of stealing a car pleaded not guilty to the charge of simple larceny when it was read to them by Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson at the Georgetown Magis-trate’s Court.

It is alleged that on February 27 at Georgetown, Toolsie Ramkissoon, 37, a spray painter of 48 Delph Street, Campbellville and Sandy Gopaul, 22, a computer technician of 3 Delph Street, Campbellville stole one Marino car with number plate PJJ 423, valued $1.2M, property of Khemraj Goberdan.

According to the virtual complainant (VC), his wife had used the car to travel to work on the day in question. She had  parked and secured it before going into her office but when she was ready to leave at noon she discovered that the car was missing. The VC added that a report was made to the police and days after there were still no signs of the car.

One day, however, Goberdan said, “Someone had contacted me that two men had a car to sell and since I know that mine was stolen I thought that there is a possibility that this car could be mine since upon information received, the men had indicated that it was a stolen car.” Goberdan explained that he appeared to be interested in purchasing the vehicle and made preparations to meet with the sellers who themselves told him that the car was a stolen one. He said further that, “I was contacted by Sandy and we arranged to meet so that I can see the car. To my surprise the car was a Marino also but bore a different number plate and was white in stead of a green which I had.” Upon examining the vehicle closer, the VC told the court that he realised that the car had only recently been sprayed over in white and he saw signs of a bit of green on the interior. He added, ”My suspicions of the car being mine were confirmed when I looked at the battery and saw that it bore the number plate that I had engraved.” The virtual complainant also stated that there were other distinguishing marks that he identified even though the defendants had tried to conceal them.

The court then heard of how the arrest was made. According to Goberdan, “After examining the vehicle, I told the defendants that I was interested in buying, but that I will go to the bank to get the money and return, but to their surprise I returned with the police instead of the money and the arrest was made.”

Attorney-at-law Mohamed Zafar who represented the duo made an application for bail to be granted stating that the defendants had no previous antecedents, had cooperated fully with the police and posed no risk of flight.

Police Corporal Munilall Seetatram, however, objected to bail on the grounds that the offence had now become a prevalent one and  there was  a possibility that if bail were granted the defendants may tamper with the witness.

The duo was subsequently denied bail and remanded to prison and their matter was transferred to Court Five for March 30. (Femi Harris)

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