ST. THOMAS — A man has been placed on a court-ordered curfew after he was caught on camera stealing alcohol.
Thirty-one-year-old Omar Stephens is charged with burglary and petit larceny, following an incident that occurred around 1:30 am on Friday, April 8th.
The complainant told police that he received a call at around 7:00 a.m. on the date in question and he was informed that his business had been broken into. He subsequently went to the location and reviewed security footage which allowed him to identify the suspect. The businessman then traveled to the police station to report the incident, telling police that the individual was captured on camera stealing liquor and beer. He told police that he recognized the intruder simply as ‘Omar’ and affirmed that he never gave him permission to enter his business place which had been locked and secured the previous day.
The individual forwarded the footage to the police and according to the probable cause fact sheet, Stephens was clearly identifiable in the security footage. He was reportedly seen forcibly gaining entry into the establishment and removing two bottles of liquor and a six-pack of beer valued at approximately $50. The fact sheet also notes that investigations revealed that Stephens has allegedly committed several other misdemeanors since his recent release from prison.
Police made contact with Stephens on Saturday, April 9th around 12:25 am after he evaded officers several times, according to the fact sheet. He was arrested and charged and bail was set at $25,000 as per a court order. Unable to post bail he was turned over to the Bureau of Corrections.
At a hearing on Monday attorney, Thoron Corey Hodge requested that bail be reduced to $2500 and that Stephens be released on the posting of 10 percent of that figure. Hodge highlighted the value of the goods stolen and expressed that a $25,000 bail would essentially deny Stephens of his liberty as he would be unable to afford the sum.
Meanwhile, Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales asserted that Stephens appears to have an extensive criminal history. It was revealed to the court that the defendant was previously sentenced on grand larceny charges in March 2022. However, that sentence was suspended approximately 20 days before the April 8th burglary of which Stephens is now accused.
After considering the facts provided, judge Paula Norkaitis ruled that bail would remain set at $25,000 with no 10 percent allowance. If the defendant is able to post bail he will be required to abide by an 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew and is strictly prohibited from going to the establishment in question.
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