By Latrishka Thomas
The former manager of CashWiz Antigua, Marcel La Pierre Armande, who staged an armed robbery of the establishment five years ago, will be sentenced later this month.
La Pierre Armande reportedly pretended to be robbed by masked men in 2014 but subsequent police investigations discovered otherwise.
He appeared before Justice Stanley John yesterday where the charges were read again and he pleaded guilty.
His lawyer, John Fuller, pleaded on his behalf that he has been cooperative with the court, is a youth volunteer, football coach for a junior team, and the father of two university students.
Justice John then set sentencing for July 25th 2019.
On Jan 11th 2014, the football coach raised alarm by calling his wife and informing her that the establishment had just been robbed by masked men who he claimed to have encountered on his way into the store.
His wife reportedly contacted the owners who then called the police.
The defendant also called the police and gave them a story similar to the one he had related to his spouse.
When the police arrived on the scene, the defendant was sitting outside the pawn shop with a head injury which he said was inflicted by the gunmen.
The police, upon noticing that the store was in disarray, asked the defendant for the tapes from CashWiz’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, but the accused claimed that the gunmen had taken them.
It was when the police asked the manager of Woods Mall for their camera footage, that the investigators noticed something completely contrary to Armande’s story.
The investigation later led the police to Armande’s landlord who was holding some jewelry which Armande had given him for safekeeping.
Police then confronted Armande and he admitted to stealing cash and jewelry amounting to $667,775.39 from the Friar’s Hill Road establishment.
The 54-year-old was then arrested and charged with Larceny by Clerk or Servant and was granted bail in the sum of $700,000 when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in the St. John’s Magistrate Court.
Yesterday, it was revealed that some of the items were recovered. However, the prosecution was unsure of the total cost of the items returned.
The prosecution will reveal the quantum on the day of sentencing.