Lacking jurisdiction, retail theft charges dismissed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Lacking jurisdiction, retail theft charges dismissed

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The federal court today dismissed both counts of alleged retail theft filed against Caroline Beliles for lack of jurisdiction. In a release from Beliles' attorney, Cynthia Ecube, states, "Within the past two years this is the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office has ever charged a federal case applying Guam's local retail theft law."

She adds, "this was clearly done with the intent by the government to avail itself of using presumptions of guilt under Guam's theft statue favorable to the government irrespective of a situation where the individual inadvertently forgot to pay."

Beliles was detained on April 7 when she was with her 2-year-old child and 8-month-old baby, with the alleged stolen items in the shopping cart she was pushing at the AAFES exchange on Andersen Air Force Base. Ecube argued that her client never left the BX, nor had she passed the concessionaire area. The trial was set to move forward on June 23, however, the release states when District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan questioned if the government could proceed, the prosecution declined to do so.

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