Crime

Serial thief given yet another chance

A teenager was given a second chance to turn his life around yesterday after he admitted a $7,400 burglary.

Elyon Adonai’s 15-month prison sentence was suspended for two years and magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo told him it was an opportunity to keep out of trouble.

The 18-year-old said he had “a problem with obedience” and thanked the judge, who warned him last November that he was “flirting with prison” when he handed down a conditional discharge for a separate offence.

Adonai pleaded guilty yesterday at Magistrates’ Court to stealing three iPads, an iPhone, an Apple charger, binoculars, a Canon camera, lens and battery grip, six pairs of cuff links and a pair of sneakers, with a total value of $7,405.

Jaleesa Simons, for the prosecution, said a Sandys householder had returned home and found rooms ransacked and belongings missing.

Adonai was later arrested on another matter and the binoculars were found in the seat of the bike he was riding.

He claimed they were his father’s, but they were identified subsequently as being the pair that were stolen. The burglary happened on June 28, 2016.

Ms Simons said that when Adonai was interviewed by police, he admitted being a lookout for the burglary.

Adonai told the court: “A lot of what I did was under peer pressure, trying to fit in.”

Saul Dismont, the defence lawyer, told the court Adonai was the youngest person being held at Westgate Correctional Facility, where he was on remand for the offence, and that had been a “sharp shock” to him.

He also provided the judge with a letter in an attempt to show the teenager, from Sandys, “in a different light”.

Mr Dismont earlier told the court that Adonai had “always maintained he was responsible for the binoculars”, but not for everything else.

Adonai told Mr Tokunbo, Westgate was “crazy” and “harder than Co-Ed”.

The judge said the offender had been given previous chances and agencies had reached the point that they did not know what to do with him.

Mr Tokunbo gave a 12-month conditional discharge to Adonai and another man with a view to keeping them out of jail when the pair admitted stealing three bikes and other items from Oleander Cycles on Pompano Beach Road in August last year.

The magistrate told Adonai at a court hearing last November that he was “flirting with prison” and must comply with conditions of the order or find himself back in court and possibly behind bars.

Adonai’s latest conviction is for an offence committed before that.

Mr Tokunbo told Adonai yesterday: “You have been involved in too many criminal activities.

“The thing is, you’ve got people on your side, you’ve got things in your favour.”

He warned the teenager: “You’ve got a criminal record; it’s going to follow you for the rest of your life. But you have a chance to turn things around; it’s up to you.”

He sentenced Adonai to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

Mr Tokunbo also revoked probation orders on two other thefts, and imposed nine-month jail terms, suspended for the same period and to run concurrently.

Mr Tokunbo said: “I’m setting you free; this is your opportunity to do what you’ve got to do to get on with your job, your life, change your ways, keep out of trouble.”

He added: “It’s up to you now; you’ve got no supervision.”

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