#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – Overnight, Police Officers responded to a number of burglary reports around Providenciales, which led to the significant arrest of two persons, on the morning of Friday, January 14, 2022.
Information was received, which led to Police intercepting a vehicle. The vehicle was stopped along the Leeward Highway, Providenciales. The occupants, two males, were arrested on suspicion of Aggravated Burglary after a number of suspected stolen items, weapons and masks were found in the vehicle.
In addition as part of our response to serious crime, in the early hours of this morning, Friday 14th January 2022, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Tactical Unit, supported by officers from Criminal Investigation, Patrol officers and the Royal Cayman Island Police Helicopter conducted operations in the Blue Hills area of Providenciales.
Armed officers secured, entered and searched five properties linked to criminal activity and four persons were detained for drugs and immigration offences. This was a significant operation involving a number of officers and the support from the Cayman Police Helicopter was integral in the safe delivery of this operation.
Superintendent Ball (Specialist Operations) who led the activity said, “This was an intelligence led, planned operation focused on tackling the most serious of criminality here in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Our teams are working tirelessly to keep the islands safe.”
Below is a summary of the overnight incidents.
AGGRAVATED BURGLARY – GRACE BAY area At 00.30 hours Police responded to an aggravated burglary in the Grace Bay area where two males armed with knives entered a home by force and stole property from within.
ATTEMPTED BURGLARIES At 00.50 hours there were 2 attempted burglaries in Grace Bay, 2 persons were seen trying to gain entry but fled the scene.
AGGRAVATED BURGLARY – LONG BAY HILLS, PROVIDENCIALES On Friday, January 14, 2022, Police Officers from the Response and Operations were dispatched to a home in the Long Bay Hills area of Providenciales, after an aggravated burglary was reported. The culprits who were armed with a knife and a cutlass fled the home after taking cash and a mobile device.
AGGRAVATED BURGLARY – BLUE MOUNTAIN, PROVIDENCIALES – On Friday, January 14, 2022 at about 11:30am, Police Control room received a report of an aggravated burglary in the Blue Mountain area of Providenciales.
The culprits, who were armed with machetes, entered the home and demanded money, which was taken along with and electronic devices. No injuries were sustained.
AGGRAVATED BURGLARY – CHALK SOUND, PROVIDENCIALES – Officers were dispatched to an address in the Chalk Sound area of Providenciales on Friday, January 14, 2022 after a report of an aggravated burglary was made to the Police Control Room.
TWO MORE PROVIDENCIALES ROBBERIES
Additionally, Police Officers also responded to reports of Robberies which occurred at the First Caribbean Bank on Leeward Highway where an armed culprit took money from customers at the location. No injuries reported.
Officers also responded to Robbery report at a store along Leeward Highway, after three masked, armed men entered the store and demanded cash from persons inside the store. No injuries reported.
Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said ‘We understand the impact on our communities of the number of crimes being committed, particularly those targeting homes and those involving violence. I want to reassure our communities that the officers and staff remain wholly committed to dealing with this surge in crime and the operations undertaken last night, together with the very significant arrest of two men highlight the operational activity that is being undertaken on a very regular basis. The arrests were a team effort within the policing teams together with information from our community and we will be relentless in going after those who are causing most harm but we cannot do this alone. I would urge anyone with any information to share this directly with us or through Crime Stoppers; crime is everyone’s business and telling us what you know may be the difference.”
Commissioner Botting added, “‘In the last week I have met with the Governor, Premier and Deputy Premier to discuss the crime situation and I have reassured them that, despite the impact of COVID on our staff, the Force is working flat out to identify and arrest those responsible for the recent crime. There are also significant developments in the Force capability and capacity and I will be making a further statement early next week on crime and how the Force is combatting it and the developments in the Force. Finally, I thank you for your support for the men and women within the RTCIPF, a group of people that are working courageously and tirelessly to keep our communities safe’ Investigations are underway for these incidents. Anyone with information about these or other crimes can call 911 or Crime Stoppers privately at 1-800-8477 (TIPS) Information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence. All crimestopper calls are answered by Miami Dade Police and no one from the RTCIPF will know who called.”
Crime Wave just as bad as COVID wave, Residents demanding action
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 19, 2022 – “We need to take action against this crime immediately!” Was the call from one TCI resident over the weekend shared via social media and he is not alone. The consensus is that crime in the country seems out of control.
Residents are sharing their experiences and expressing frustration that no one official is facing the public during what is a doubly hard season; a spike in COVID which had the TCI inching ever so close to 1000 active cases and crime sprees where criminals are hitting multiple spots per night and there is a return of home invasions.
“Six armed men came here and robbed the store. They also robbed the Rooster Black next door and the Laundromat next door,” explained the man, a customer at one of the stores hit by a late afternoon heist on Saturday January 15.
The young man was making the comment to a cell phone camera, expressing his shock at the stream of crimes. That video was later shared and it spread like wildfire on the weekend.
Another resident voiced a friend’s harrowing experience in a social media voice note.
There is an air of fear as violent incidents, robberies and home invasions rise amidst weak communications from the Royal TCI Police Force.
The Force eventually confirmed there were at least five home invasions in the Turks and Caicos between Thursday January 13 and Friday January 14 alone.
So far two suspects have been arrested Lorenzo Caesar, aged 36, and Stevenson Morris, aged 46 have been charged with aggravated burglary in connection with at least one of the robberies on Thursday. A teen, only 17 years old was also held with a firearm and ammunition over the weekend, after reportedly “shooting up at the club”.
Still residents are not convinced of their safety and confidence in the Police is on shaky ground, yet again.
As residents grappled with the report of such a young gun crime perpetrator, there came word of two people being fired upon on Sunday in Five Cays. Both were rushed to hospital. There has been no statement on the alleged ambush from authorities; but it seems both survived the hail of bullets.
In another public opinion, it said most concerning was that more dangerous gun wielding criminals were not being apprehended. The individual noted on social media that cutlass and machete using criminals were the “least of [the TCI’s] concerns when gunmen were on the loose”
It has been nearly a month since Premier Washington Misick promised to address crime in the New Year and two weeks since his National Security Council (NSC) meeting which he promised would be followed by a statement on crime.
In the past month, there have been four murders, at least three shootings and numerous armed burglaries of businesses, homes and individuals.
As the list of incidents grows longer there is no guidance, condemnation for the brutal acts or general updates forthcoming from the NSC, Police, Governor or the elected Government.
Journalists Killed, Prime Minister dodges bullets in unstable Haiti
By Dana Malcolm
#Haiti, January 15, 2022 – Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry escaped an assassination attempt on January 1, Haitian Independence Day.
Henry was leaving a church where he had attended Haitian Independence Day celebrations when shots were fired at his group. Several persons were injured and one killed but Ariel remained unharmed.
There are also new allegations in the sordid plot to kill Jovenel Moise, the murdered Haitian president. These allegations are being levelled against Prime Minister Henry, Moise’s pick for the job, due to evidence reportedly linking Henry to a suspect in the July assassination.
The New York Times has reported that phone records show connections between the suspect and Prime Minister Dr. Henry, and that the suspect while on the wanted list visited the prime minister’s residence twice at night and was not turned over to the police.
Henry, who was sworn in just one day before the shocking shooting, has denied all allegations.
Add to the ongoing violence, days later on January 6, two Haitian journalists were the victims of a deadly attack. Police recovered the bodies of John Wesley Amady and Wilgens Louis Saint on Friday from the Laboule 12 neighbourhood.
Security officers spoke to CNN. The source told the media house that the police were unable to get to the scene initially because of limited resources and concerns about the gangs in the area. John Amady had been on assignment for Radio Ècoute FM, documenting the worsening security situation in the area. There is no word about who Wilgens Louis Saint was working for.
The circumstances around their deaths remain unclear, but reports indicate the men were not burned as previously reported by the Government though one of them had a gunshot wound to the temple.
Woman, Grand Turk Restaurant Manager is first murder of 2022
By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – The country’s first murder is a 60-year-old long time resident of Grand Turk, a woman who police say was found early the morning of January 3 on the floor of her home with a wound to the head.
The police report also said by the time they arrived, at the house located on the ridge, she was dead.
No identity is yet provided of the woman to date by Police, however she is described as a manager of the Bahari restaurant and she called them to report that someone was trying to forcefully enter her home. The police got that call at 1:07am however, they do no state what time they got to the house.
Questions were raised about the time it took for police to respond to the woman’s distress call.
No motive for the murder was given.
This homicide, though the first for the year was the third murder in the Turks and Caicos in a week.
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