Officer accused of attempting to steal bullet-proof vests, firearm holsters formally charged

A police constable with one year’s service is expected to appear before a Couva Magistrate today, charged with three counts of larceny involving the theft of two police-issued bulletproof vests and three firearm holsters.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred between the period December 2016 and January 2018.

No. 20060 PC Marlon Baptiste, 22, of Remy Trace, Penal Rock Road, Penal, attached to the Couva Police Station, was charged by Insp. Rudolph Bhagwandeen, on Thursday 1st February 2018, after being arrested on Monday 29th January 2018, in the Barrackpore area, in possession of two police-issued bulletproof vests.

Based on information, officers of the Princes Town CID, had cause to stop a black Mazda pick-up van with three male occupants, around 3:30 pm, along Ramlal Trace, Barrackpore. Upon interception, one man exited the vehicle while carrying a black bag in his hands.

He was caught a short distance away and a search of the bag resulted in two bulletproof vests being found inside.

The three men were arrested in connection with the find.

A subsequent search of the Penal home of the suspect, resulted in three Sig Sauer holsters with the markings ‘Couva TTPS’ on them, being discovered. Nothing was found at the homes of the other two men, and they were subsequently released.

The items recovered matched the description of two bulletproof vests which were reported missing between December 2016 and February 2017 and November 2017 and January 2018, by two officers attached to the Couva Police Station.

The holsters were discovered missing during an inventory check at the station in January 2018.

PC Baptiste was a probationer at the time of arrest and with the charges, he faces suspension from the service, pending the outcome of the matter before the court.

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