The V.I. Police Department on Friday issued a neighborhood crime alert for the Philsbury Heights and Estate Nazareth areas of St. Thomas, after a series of home invasions and rapes took place over the past month, and offered suggestions as to how residents can protect themselves.
Police are looking for a black male, between 5 foot, 6 inches and 5 foot, 9 inches with a slim build. He has black curly hair, or his hair may have recently been shaven, police said.
According to the police, the most recent incident took place at about 6:53 a.m. Wednesday. Officers were dispatched to the Schneider Regional Medical Center in regards to a report of a rape. The victim explained that she was raped by an unknown black male inside the residence of the home she was house sitting.
The department stressed that there are steps people can take to prevent becoming a victim. They are:
– If you have a glass sliding door, place a metal pole or strong stick on the tracks of the door, no matter how much someone jolts or pulls the door, it will not open.
– If you’re moving into a new apartment, request for your locks to be changed. Others can have a copy without your knowledge.
– Be aware of what you put on social media. Information can disclose your location to the wrong individuals.
– A great way to discourage intruders is to make them think you’re not alone.
– Always have some means of personal self-defense. There are individuals that specialize in the instruction of women’s self-defense.
– Always lock your doors when you’re home, especially if you’re alone.
– Be aware of your environment at all times, especially at night or when alone.
– Always have your keys at hand when entering your car or your residence, especially if you’re alone.
– Don’t make your home easily accessible for prowlers by leaving chairs, ladders, or any object that can be used as a tool to jump on or hop over into your residence.
– Always do whatever you need to make yourself safe and secure. No one should ever be a victim of any crime.
Upon request, the VIPD’s Crime Prevention Unit will provides house assessments that can assist in ensuring that a home is not an easy target for crime. The Crime Prevention Unit can be reached at 340-998-0314.
The police urged anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact the department at 340-774-2211, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-714-9807, 911, or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.