Teen thieves blame crime on COVID-19

Nassau, Bahamas- Two teen thieves blamed their crime on hard times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Pratt, 19, and a 14-year-old, who cannot be named, broke into Dwayne Russell’s home on April 8, and stole two cases of non-alcoholic drinks, valued at $69.

They pleaded guilty to housebreaking and stealing at their arraignment before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes.

The magistrate asked Pratt why he committed the crime.

Pratt said, “At the time, there wasn’t nothing at home. This coronavirus stopped me from working.”

The magistrate asked, “So your solution to the problem was to go in somebody’s house and take it?”

Pratt said that he was unable to find work because of the deadly disease that has caused job losses around the world.

Forbes asked, “So, what would have happened if the person met you in his house?”
Pratt replied, “He could have killed me?”
Forbes said, “And, then, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation.”

The juvenile claimed that the crime was his idea. The magistrate appeared shocked that Pratt allowed someone five years his junior to influence him.

Because of their youth, Forbes made a finding of guilt but didn’t record a conviction.

Instead, he placed them on probation for 12 months. During this period, they cannot associate with each other.

Additionally, the were put on a court-ordered curfew that requires them to be at home by 8pm from Monday to Sunday.

The matter has been adjourned to September 15 for a status hearing.