Last Wednesday, Javier Bailón Cárdenas (18) was sentenced to ten years and ten months in prison for his involvement in the theft of a mobile phone in the Florencia de Mora district (Trujillo, La Libertad). The ruling was made by Judge Robert Mendieta of the Second Preparatory Investigation Court of El Porvenir. Bailón was also ordered to pay 1,100 soles for civil reparation to the victim within twenty days. He will serve his sentence in the El Milagro prison, which is currently overcrowded at 300%.
During the trial, Bailón admitted to driving the motorcycle taxi used by his accomplice, a minor, to flee after overpowering and dragging the victim. The police chased them through the district, eventually capturing them when their vehicle overturned. The court ordered that Bailón’s sentence conclude in November 2034, three months after the government promulgated a legislative decree that imposes up to 30 years in prison for the theft of cell phones and computer equipment, with specific aggravating circumstances.
The Penal Code was modified to include the theft of mobile and computer equipment as an aggravating circumstance, punishable by 12 to 20 years in prison, which can reach up to 30 years when explosives or motor vehicles are used. The penalty will also be extended if injuries are caused, the victim’s family is left in a serious economic situation, or the victim’s physical or mental disability is abused.
The Executive also incorporated the reception of stolen property as a crime, making it punishable to market or import equipment that allows the adulteration of security codes and cell phone cards. Former Minister of the Interior, Vicente Romero, emphasized that this is a clear warning to those who steal, buy, or tamper with cell phones.
According to official figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) and the Supervisory Body for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Osiptel), approximately 4,754 cell phones are stolen in the country every day. From February to July 2023, 12.2% of citizens were victims of theft of money, wallets, or cell phones, with some cases resulting in fatal consequences.
The Crime Observatory of the Public Ministry reported that Lima, Lambayeque, Piura, La Libertad, Arequipa, and Ica are the regions with the highest number of reported robberies. In Lima, North Lima, South Lima, East, Center, and North West are the areas with the highest number of robberies.
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