LOCAL telecom provider TSTT is sending a strong warning to those involved in the theft and illegal sale of its cell site batteries that they will be found and prosecuted.
The warning comes after TSTT’s security department made a breakthrough on an online portal that was suspected of selling batteries stolen from TSTT cell sites.
The security officers were able to recover several of the stolen batteries in St Joseph and arrest one of the perpetrators, a statement from the company said.
Naresh Boodhoo, 21, from Bellevue Trace Acono Road, Maracas St Joseph, appeared before
Magistrate Marissa Gomez in the 2nd Magistrate Court Tunapuna, last Monday, where he
pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods, the statement said.
Gomez, in sentencing Boodhoo, took into consideration his guilty plea andand not wasting the courts time along with the fact that he was young and the maximum sentence of 10 years
imprisonment would tarnish his life.
However, she warned that Boodoo must be taught a lesson for his actions. Boodhoo was fined
$15,000 to pay within three months, or serve two years hard labour.
Her final warning was that if Boodhoo was to appear before the court again he would be given
the maximum sentence.
Boodoo’s arrest came after investigations by TSTT’s security department when it was
discovered he was offering the batteries for sale online.
On March 24, a sting operation was put into action to make an offer for a battery from the online source. Boodhoo turned up at the designated location to conduct the sale. The battery he offered was inspected for specific identification marks that it belonged to TSTT.
It was determined that it was one of several batteries stolen from a cell site in Bon Air West on the morning of March 17.
TSTT security officers took Boodhoo into custody and took him to the St. Joseph Police
The statement said further further investigations turned up the name of another resident of Maracas St Joseph who could assist with the investigations.
The suspect was not at home and officers, acting on a tip, went to a bushy area off Acono Road, Maracas St Joseph, where they retrieved six other batteries which also belonged to TSTT.
The company said it has experienced a spate of similar incidents recently. In just the first three month of 2018, 15 batteries had been stolen, ten of these in February.