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Cop Found Guilty of Stealing Cell Phone and Cash

Twenty-nine year old, Dean Perez, a police constable charged with the theft of a cellular phone and six hundred dollars cash was found guilty of the charge today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Perez was remanded into custody until Monday, July 27 for sentencing. The incident occurred around 5 a.m. on October 5, 2014 at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The complainant, Jose Hernandez, testified that he was at his apartment when he was awakened by a knock on his door. He said when he opened the door a police officer in uniform entered and went into his bedroom and took his white cellular phone from off a table in his bedroom. Hernandez said the officer, who he later identified as Perez, then grabbed an identification folder from his common-law wife, Esmeralda Pat, which contained six hundred dollars. Pat, who also testified that the officer took the identification folder first then he stole the money. Hernandez said he saw Perez grab the folder when he turned around while he was being escorted to a police vehicle parked in front of the apartment building. Hernandez was taken into police custody on the strength of a commitment warrant for maintenance. Hernandez did not give police a statement until October 14, 2014 and Perez was not detained until October 27, 2014. Perez took the witness stand and denied that he committed the offence. He said that he was falsely accused because a superior officer had a personal vendetta against him. In her ruling Chief Magistrate Smith said that although there were discrepancies they did not affect the crux of the Crown’s case and she believed the evidence presented. Perez’ attorney, Leroy Banner has indicated that he is going to appeal.