Western News

Alleged smartphone thief bail extended

BY PAUL A REID Observer West writer

Thursday, June 07, 2012    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - A St James man who it is believed was outwitted by a smartphone that transmitted photographs back to its owner in the United States, had his bail extended when he appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Renard Gould, a 25-year-old ramp attendant at Sangster International Airport pleaded not guilty to the charge of larceny by finding, after he was held with an iPhone that was reported missing by a visitor to the island in early March.

The court heard that the complainant had flown into the island on March 8 and inadvertently left his phone on the plane.

The complainant, it was heard, had checked with the lost and found department at the airport, but he was unsuccessful in retrieving the instrument.

A month later, however, he got several photos of someone resembling Gould on his Facebook page that was linked electronically to the phone.

Contact was later made with the Jamaican authorities, the court was told, and a check was made at the Sangster International Airport where Gould was pointed out.

The court heard that the accused man gave the police a number of different stories as to how he came to be in possession of the instrument. It is alleged, however, that he later admitted under caution that he took the phone off a desk at the airport and said "Officer me not a bad youth, I saw nice things and wanted it".

Defence attorney Martyn Thomas, however, denied Gould had stolen the phone and told the court he had purchased it from someone at a phone store in downtown Montego Bay.

Thomas told the court that four policemen had gone to Gould's home and searched it before taking him to the Freeport lock-up where he was held for eight days before being offered station bail.

Gould will return to court on August 16, when the case will again be mentioned.

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