Weed whacker thief to pay back business

Magistrate Elwood Watts Tuesday ruled that a man who admitted to stealing a weed whacker from a local business must reimburse the company if he wants to avoid some jail time.

Ryan O’neal Little, of Inch Marlow, Christ Church pleaded guilty in the Oistins Magistrates’ Court to stealing the $870 weed whacker from Williams Equipment Limited sometime between April 11, 2015 and May 9 this year.

Police prosecutor Station Sergeant Rudolph Burnett told the magistrate that Little rented the equipment from the company and was expected to return it the following day. However, he never did.

The supervisor responsible for rental of equipment was subsequently informed that the weed whacker was on sale at a fast cash establishment. The employee went to investigate and found that the serial numbers on the rented whacker and the sale item were a match.

Police were called in and Little was later arrested.

Addressing Magistrate Watts Tuesday afternoon, Little sought to explain what had occurred. He said that he had rented the whacker for the weekend and subsequently told his son to return it. However, he claimed he came across the item “practically almost a year later” when he was moving.

Little also informed the court that he suffered with diabetes, had been in a vehicular accident that resulted in his leg being broken in five places, and he still had to do one more surgery. He lamented that although he had settled the accident claim with an insurance company, he was still awaiting the money and he was “financially . . . out”.

“I had pawned the whacker with intentions to get it back. I came from the hospital and when I went back it was gone and I say ‘geeze, that really put me back in a spot’,” Little said.

However, the magistrate did not buy the explanation, telling Little that he was “trying to trick the court” and questioning why he went to the fast cash establishment twice but never returned to Williams Industries to explain what happened.

Watts granted a restitution order for the whacker, and ordered Little to pay $870 in compensation, which he must hand over in three months.

He was also granted $1,000 bail with one surety and ordered to return to court on July 27.

“Bail pending sentence,” the magistrate told him. “If the money is not paid, you will go to prison for a period of time.”

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