The mother of ten who was sent to jail for 21 days after being found with one stolen tablet was granted bail today by the Supreme Court. 30-year-old Sherisa Reneau was taken to prison on Monday by order of Magistrate Stephanie Gillett. The court of public opinion has expressed upset over the court’s decision saying that several persons are out free after being accused of stealing far more, or after being found handling stolen goods. Love News spoke with Senator Elena Smith on this issue, from the perspective of a member of the legislature. She referred to the situation as a clear display of the flaws in the system.
Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: That is one of the unfairness of the system and this is not the first time we are hearing of such situations. We often hear about the poor person, the person who is not connected who is often it would seem dealt with the hardest and persons who are persons of society, persons who are able to afford these things are being given a slap on the wrist. You know we keep hearing it this is not the first time. You hear about the person who might steal luncheon meat or who might a deodorant and that kind of thing and we have to find a way to ensure that we enforce the laws that we have fairly across the board because wrong is wrong. You can’t be condoning wrong whether you steal something small you steal something big you still steal and we understand that it’s a mother of ten and how will these children be able to cope without a parent and that sort of thing but if you do for one you have to do for others. So we have to find a way to ensure that we are fair across the board and if there needs to be some changes to our laws to ensure that that happens then we must do so.”
Love News visited Reneau at her home today who spoke on this experience and how she got in possession of the tablet.
Sherisa Reneau, Charged for Handling Stolen Goods: “I asked about the tablet. He said it’s not a hot tablet. So I told him how much do you want for the tablet ? He said $150 so I paid him the $150 not knowing it was a hot tablet because I would not have bought it from the beginning. Sunday I was doing my own home chores cleaning up and doing what you usually do when I looked the four truck load of police came said “We come conduct a search.” well I didn’t have a problem I told them go ahead. What did you come look for ? ‘Guns and ammunition’ well I told them to go ahead because I don’t have no gun and I don’t have no ammunition. So I left them to go do their job when I looked now Mr._________ came on his phone and said “You’re Ms.Reneau” so I told them yes and he said “Well Ms.Reneau we want the tablet you purchased for $150.” that is what he requested to me and I told him yes I did purchase a tablet for $150. Well anyway he got the tablets and took it and said I will get charged for handling stolen goods and I got detained and went to station. Thanks to my attorney Mr.Rodriguez because he’s the one that came to see me in jail and let me know he was the one that was taking the case and everything and I was to get bail on Friday but when they came for me this morning I was shocked to see that I know that tomorrow I was going to be out but then when they came. I’m happy anyway to be out and to be with my family, I feel good. My sister told me when she went to the court she said ‘Sis you have a lot of people that are cheering for you and a lot of people that are with you with this.’ well that is nice to know that you have people out here that still have a heart. People now everybody thinks negative because you have negative people but you don’t worry about them.”
The tablet was one of several that were stolen from Sadie Vernon High School.