A robbery and attempted robbery over the weekend prompted the V.I. Police Department to issue a community alert Monday, with suggestions for how to avoid becoming a victim.
According to police, the following incidents occurred:
– At roughly 11:52 a.m. Saturday, officers traveled to the area of Lockhart Gardens in regards robbery reported in that location. Responding officers spoke with a woman who told them that as she left the Drug Farm Pharmacy, she began to head towards the parking lot west of the Guardian Insurance Office. She felt a tug on her bag. She said that as she clutched her bag a struggle ensued between them that lead to the suspect to throwing her to the ground. He then broke the strap of her bag and fled the area heading west towards Tenth Street.
She immediately called the 911 emergency call center to report the incident. Further investigation revealed that the victim sustained multiple abrasions as a result of the incident.
– At 7:48 p.m. Saturday, detectives responded to a report of an attempted robbery in the area of the bus stop on Veterans Drive in the vicinity of Cemetery No. 3. At the scene, officers spoke with the victim, who said that while waiting for a safari at the bus stop, she felt a pull on the right side of her backpack. She turned around and saw three young, black males who appeared to be teenagers behind of her with stockings covering their faces.
Two out of the three males told her to give them everything she has, she said, and they tried to pull her behind the bus stop. She said she kick at one of the males while one of the others struck her on the left side of her head with a gun.
The woman said she grabbed the male who struck her and one of the other males fired a shot into the air. She then screamed, causing the three to take off running eastward in the cemetery towards the funeral home.
The victim sustained injuries to the left forearm and tenderness to the left side of her head and was treated by the emergency medical technicians who were present on the scene.
The VIPD shared these tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a robbery and what to do if your purse or wallet is stolen.
The first and most important rule is to be fully aware of your surroundings, the VIPD said. Then:
– Appear confident and look like you know where you’re going.
– Dress down. Don’t flaunt jewelry or designer labels that let a thief know you’re likely to
have money or valuables close at hand.
– Listen to your instincts. If something feels strange, go inside a store, cross the street or
– Always keep purses closed and carry them close to the front of your body, or held tightly under your arm.
– If your purse is slung over your head, consider wearing it under your coat (this makes it harder for a thief to yank on the strap).
You can also protect yourself in advance, the police said. In the event your purse or wallet is stolen, the impact will be less severe if you:
– Don’t carry all your cash in one place.
– Carry only a small amount of cash.
– Don’t keep your social security number in your wallet–it puts you at risk of identity
– Carry only what’s necessary, and nothing more.
– Keep house keys in your pocket, rather than your purse. If a thief steals your purse and house keys, they have your address and access to your home.
If your purse or wallet is stolen, police advised:
– The first thing to remember is that your purse or wallet is not worth getting hurt over or losing your life. If someone tries to take your belongings, resist the urge to fight back. While some thieves will back down at the sign of confrontation, others are willing to fight and may be carrying a weapon. Your safety is what’s most important, and while your purse/wallet can be replaced, your life cannot.
If your purse or wallet is stolen:
– Don’t panic, try to think clearly.
– Dial 911 right away.
– Make a list of everything in your purse or wallet, including credit cards, checks, ID cards,
cash and other items.
– Call your credit card companies and report your cards as stolen.
– Call your bank and tell them your bank cards/checks have been stolen.
– If your driver’s license was stolen, contact your local driver’s license bureau to get a
– If your Social Security card was stolen, contact your local Social Security office to get a
new one (the number won’t be changed unless fraudulent activity is found.)
– Monitor your bills for unusual activity, and report anything strange to the police.
Police urged anyone with information about these incidents to contact the Investigation Bureau at 340-7742211 ext. 5579 and 5557. They can also contact the Chief’s office at 340-715-5548, the Commissioner’s office at 340-715-5506, the 911 emergency call center, or the anonymous tip service, Crimestopper USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.