Man admits stealing US Embassy property while ‘under the influence’

Albert Rajaram will be spending the next three years in jail after he admitted to breaking and entering the AmeriJet storage bond and stealing over $800,000 in office supplies belonging to the United States Embassy.

Rajaram, 34, pleaded guilty to the break and enter and larceny charge, telling the court that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time he committed the crime. Meanwhile, his co-accused Ryan Waddell, 22, pleaded not guilty will go to trial.

The charge read at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court stated that during November 19 to November 20, at Timehri, East Bank Demerara, they broke and entered the AmeriJet storage bond, stealing a Cannon Camera, two HP Monitors, a Document Scanner, amongst other items that amounted to $813,000 in total. The items were the property of the US Embassy.

 Ryan Waddell (left) and Albert Rajaram (right)
Ryan Waddell (left) and Albert Rajaram (right)

Prosecutor Bharat Mangru stated that after the break-in was discovered, police, acting on information, contacted Rajaram and informed him of the allegations against him. Rajaram, according to Mangru, admitted to the crime and took officers to a location where he kept his portion of the stolen items.

When officers contacted Waddell, Mangru added, he too admitted to the crime and also took police to a location where he claimed he had also kept his portion of the stolen goods. However, when officers arrived at the location, none of the articles were there. Mangru further stated that Waddell also admitted to stealing the items in a caution statement.

“Your honour, I was under the influence of alcohol and I jump the fence and there was a window open by the bathroom, so I go in the place through the window and I tek them things. But when the police arrest me, I give them back everything. After me hear seh that them things belong to the US Embassy, I didn’t want give the police no problems,” Rajaram told the court.

In handing down the sentence, Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry considered the seriousness and prevalence of the offence as well as the fact that Rajaram was previously convicted for a crime of similar nature.

She also took into consideration Rajaram’s cooperation with the police and his not wasting the court’s time as mitigating factors.

Meanwhile, Mangru objected to bail for Waddell, arguing that additional charges are pending and that if granted bail it was very likely that Waddell will not return for trial.

A police officer who spoke on the behalf of the US Embassy stated that only four of the seven missing items were recovered.

Waddell, who continued to deny being involved in the crime, accused police officers of physically abusing and torturing him.

“Them start fuh beat me and I keep sehing that me ain’t know nothing about them things. Them tek a iron file and beat meh. Put a plastic bag over my head and then I blackout. When I wake up, them ask me about meh family. Your honour, I aint know nothing about that,” Waddell said.

The case was subsequently transferred to the Providence Magistrate’s Court for reports and fixtures. It is set for a hearing on Friday.