Log In

Reset Password

Blood at crime scene links man to theft of electronics valued at more than $25,000

Magistrates’ Court (File photograph)

A man has admitted stealing more than $25,000 of electronics from a Hamilton store after police linked him to blood found at the scene of the crime.

Shaheed Muhammad, 26, from St George’s, pleaded guilty to a single count of burglary in connection with a May 23 break-in at P-Tech on Reid Street.

The court heard that at about 7am that day, the store’s manager was notified of an apparent break-in at the property.

When the manager reached the store, he noticed that a number of electronic items had been stolen from a display cabinet.

He also noticed petrol and droplets of blood on the ground.

CCTV footage showed two men entering the property in the early hours and removing a number of items.

One man was recorded arriving at the scene shortly afterwards and splashing a liquid inside the store.

A check of the store’s inventory revealed that 35 items including mobile phones, AirPods, Mac Minis, iPads and a watch had been taken.

The stolen items were worth a total of $26,428, while another $11,422 of items in the store were damaged by the petrol.

Officers took samples from the blood droplets found in the store and, after overseas testing, linked them to Muhammad through a database.

On July 3, police went to Muhammad’s home in St George’s and spoke to him about the burglary. The officers questioned him about an iPhone at the home, which he indicated was his.

He told the officers that it had been given to him by a friend two years earlier. He changed his story later and said that he had bought it from the Salvation Army.

Police also noticed a second phone on a kitchen cabinet, but when they went to look at it the phone had been removed.

They spoke with Muhammad’s mother, who showed them the phone and said it was hers but she had thrown away the receipt.

However, Muhammad’s sister then said: “These were the only phones he gave us.”

Police confirmed later that the serial numbers on the phones matched those on the handsets stolen from P-Tech in the burglary.

In a police interview, Muhammad maintained that he had purchased the items, but he admitted the burglary when he appeared in Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrate Tyrone Chin ordered a social inquiry report, a mental health assessment and a drug assessment on Muhammad before remanding him in custody.

Mr Chin said: “What I’m concerned about is not only the breaking and entering but also the petrol or gasoline. That’s where the seriousness of it ramps up.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.