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Bold Theft; were Police really siding with the Crook?   

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 7, 2022 – The Professional Standards Team of the Royal TCI Police Force has opened an internal review of whether members of the Force carried out proper operating procedures in response to a robbery in progress report.

Police Commissioner, Trevor Botting in response to Magnetic Media questions confirmed that a complaint from a homeowner has, “raised concerns with how the matter has been handled and our professional standards team is looking into the issue.”

The matter about which the Commissioner is responding involves a homeowner in eastern Providenciales who, on CCTV camera, caught two men ripping him off; they were about to make off with all of his plywood.

His alarm system triggered the alert and brought him to the scene where he was able to block in the white flatbed truck which was without plates and appeared to be unlicensed as Police, who had already been called, were on their way.

Those CCTV cameras were installed after the man suffered a previous robbery. He could not prevent the escape of one of the suspects but the other, the truck driver, remained at the scene.

The Police arrived and the homeowner thought the incident would be wrapped up, a straight forward open and shut case, but he was sadly mistaken.

After one suspect ran off into bushes and got away, the driver who stayed behind made repeated requests that his truck be released to him.

The man, who had also issued the CCTV video to the Commissioner of Police explained to Magnetic Media that he lost confidence when the responding officers seemed to side with the ‘thieving’ driver of the truck.

Police said, according to the complainant, the man was merely the driver and should get his truck.

The CCTV video clearly shows two men brazenly loading, sheet by sheet, the plywood from a stack in the yard to the bed of the truck.

The home owner, who told us about the ordeal on Friday April 1, explained he had to remind Police about the video which clearly showed the driver was an accomplice and co-conspirator.

What would follow would be more missteps by Police including showing up late to take the homeowner’s statement at the Grace Bay police station and despite being warned, entering his homeowners property without his permission in another attempt to extract the truck

While they claimed it would make up evidence, the man demanded a court order and said he discovered that at the time, the CID was not even aware of the matter.

For the homeowner his other concerns were that the police seemed to be in league with the thief, that according to him the criminal investigation department was not more immediately alerted to the brazen theft and that officers easily ignored his right to privacy presenting no court order to remove evidence in an attempted theft caught on camera.

Additionally, at least one Police officer when asked by Pastor Pedro Williams, who was called to the troubling scene when an unauthorized wrecker was trying to pull the criminal’s truck out of the victim’s yard, was curt and disrespectful toward the well-known church leader.

“This is a story that needs to be brought to the public.  Not for me but for the public because the public needs to understand their rights. We need to understand when the police are overstepping their boundaries. If it was someone else, this situation would have gone differently because people see the uniform and a badge and they run scared.”

The homeowner is also calling upon Police to initiative an information campaign to make citizens more aware of their rights; detailing how Members of the Royal TCI Police are supposed to act and what they are allowed to do when tending to a crime scene.

“I am not out to say shame the Police I just want people to understand this is your right, you have authority…”

The Commissioner, in that reply to Magnetic Media informed there has been an arrest in the case.

The Police should go another step further and make this individual known to the general public by exposing his identify upon formal arraignment.

According to the homeowner who shared his story, due to the massive increase in the cost of building materials, theft of supplies has spiked and is plaguing his Community.

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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Caribbean News

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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