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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Raid Reveals Possible Stolen Copper

A multi-agency raid on St. Croix led by the V.I. Police Department on Thursday uncovered what could be stolen goods related to a number of different heists that have occurred across the island recently.

Police called an impromptu, midday press conference from the road leading into the Francis Metal Works scrapyard in Estate Castle Coakley, stating they’d been on a joint task force inspection that morning of metal businesses because of the community concern related to all the recent copper and metal thefts.

While the first few metal shops visited yielded nothing more than “minor violations,” the big find came at Francis Metal Works, according to Deputy Chief of Police Arthur Hector Sr.

“We found some major violations along with items that are questionable as to whether they are stolen or not,” said Hector. “What we’re in the process of doing is conducting the investigations and having these items identified by the individuals who we think they’re from.”

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“Once they’re identified,” Hector said, “we’ll continue the investigation and go ahead and execute and process the individual here, which would probably be the owner of the business, charging them with buying and selling stolen property.”

Hector continued, adding more specifics. “We’ve seen fiber optic cables on spools, we’ve come across manhole covers and some electrical devices that we believe are being used by Innovative. It’s just a matter of them identifying these items, and again, like I said, we’ll move forward with this investigation and deal with the individuals we need to deal with accordingly.”

Innovative, meanwhile, announced earlier in the afternoon that it had experienced its seventh incident in six weeks of stolen copper wire, the latest being a section that affected about 130 different customers in the Salt River and Gentle Winds condos area.

On Aug. 12, the V.I. Waste Management Authority said they’d experienced a recent rash of stolen manhole covers from some of St. Croix’s more rural roads.

Police have announced a press conference for Friday at 1:30 p.m. at police headquarters to further allude on the specifics of Thursday’s joint task force operations, which Hector said he put together at the order of Chief of Police James Parris because of the “months of going through issues related to taking copper and Innovative line.”

The other agencies that participated Thursday in the task force inspections included VIWMA, Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Department of Planning and Natural Resources and V.I. Fire Services.

All were checking to ensure the business visited was in compliance with each agency’s respective rules and regulations.

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A multi-agency raid on St. Croix led by the V.I. Police Department on Thursday uncovered what could be stolen goods related to a number of different heists that have occurred across the island recently.

Police called an impromptu, midday press conference from the road leading into the Francis Metal Works scrapyard in Estate Castle Coakley, stating they’d been on a joint task force inspection that morning of metal businesses because of the community concern related to all the recent copper and metal thefts.

While the first few metal shops visited yielded nothing more than “minor violations,” the big find came at Francis Metal Works, according to Deputy Chief of Police Arthur Hector Sr.

“We found some major violations along with items that are questionable as to whether they are stolen or not,” said Hector. “What we’re in the process of doing is conducting the investigations and having these items identified by the individuals who we think they’re from.”

“Once they’re identified,” Hector said, “we’ll continue the investigation and go ahead and execute and process the individual here, which would probably be the owner of the business, charging them with buying and selling stolen property.”

Hector continued, adding more specifics. “We’ve seen fiber optic cables on spools, we’ve come across manhole covers and some electrical devices that we believe are being used by Innovative. It’s just a matter of them identifying these items, and again, like I said, we’ll move forward with this investigation and deal with the individuals we need to deal with accordingly.”

Innovative, meanwhile, announced earlier in the afternoon that it had experienced its seventh incident in six weeks of stolen copper wire, the latest being a section that affected about 130 different customers in the Salt River and Gentle Winds condos area.

On Aug. 12, the V.I. Waste Management Authority said they’d experienced a recent rash of stolen manhole covers from some of St. Croix’s more rural roads.

Police have announced a press conference for Friday at 1:30 p.m. at police headquarters to further allude on the specifics of Thursday’s joint task force operations, which Hector said he put together at the order of Chief of Police James Parris because of the “months of going through issues related to taking copper and Innovative line.”

The other agencies that participated Thursday in the task force inspections included VIWMA, Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Department of Planning and Natural Resources and V.I. Fire Services.

All were checking to ensure the business visited was in compliance with each agency’s respective rules and regulations.