Linemen Injured During St. John Carjacking Attempt

A line crew from BBC Electrical Services of Joplin, Missouri, connects a home to the newly energized power grid on St. John.
A line crew from BBC Electrical Services of Joplin, Missouri, connects a home to the newly energized power grid on St. John.

Two linemen from a stateside contractor were injured during an early morning carjacking attempt Monday in Cruz Bay.

Three linemen were getting ready to start their workday, sitting on the back of a truck with the engine running, when an individual jumped into the cab and attempted to steal the truck, according to Steve DeBlasio of the Bloomberg Response Group.

At least two of the men were thrown off the truck as the suspect started to drive off. The two linemen were hospitalized, and one with critical injuries would be airlifted for further treatment, DeBlasio said.

DeBlasio made the announcement at the Monday morning VITEMA briefing at the Virgin Islands National Park headquarters in Cruz Bay.

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WAPA line superintendent Richard Lanclos had few details to add when he arrived minutes later to the meeting.

“As a community, we have to come together to make sure these guys are safe,” he said.

The linemen were part of a team of 35 from BCC Electrical Services from Joplin, Missouri, that began work on St. John last week. Another team of 35 arrived on St. John Sunday, and a third team was expected this week.

The linemen have been helping WAPA restore power to the island, which got its first taste of publicly-generated electricity on Friday when lines in parts of Cruz Bay were energized for the first time since Hurricane Irma knocked out power when it the island as a Category 5 storm on Sept. 6.

The restoration of power in parts of Cruz Bay was expected to be a cause of celebration at the bi-weekly VITEMA briefing, but with the news of the attempted carjacking, the crowd became somber.

There were conflicting reports as to whether the suspect was apprehended or not. His identity is known to authorities, according to a member of St. John Rescue.

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  1. Where did the idiot think he was going to go in a stolen truck on St John?
    I don’t know what’s the matter with people. Prayers for the injured linemen and all the linemen helping out our beautiful islands.

  2. Some on drugs there are unable to reason anymore. I’ve seen this often. Very sad, these lost soles. Whatever these drugs are they are very potent. He had no idea what he was doing. It’s easy to get caught up in the drug scene. If everywhere there. Those unfamiliar with this should be informed and protected from these sometimes dangerous folks.

  3. It sounds like they were thrown off the back of the truck when the thief jumped in and started to drive off. It doesn’t sound like they were trying to be heroes. Sad. Just some guys trying to do an honest days work.

  4. People need to read the whole story! It wasn’t that the victims resisted the carjacking dipshit. It was that the carjaker jumped in the vehicle while the victims were not expecting such a thing! The linecrews can not watch for everything that is possible or unlikely. Islanders need to police their folks as well. Do you want power back, or not? I’d stand down all crews every time a criminal incident occurred against those there to accomplish the restoration efforts. Once those responsible were apprehended, efforts can again begin. People will put a stop to attacks against effort workers even if it means dealing with their own selfish locals.

    • If customers have to wait until all the criminals are arrested it’s going to be a long time before they get their power on, when you’re working out on the streets you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and yes you better exercise your right to carry. There’s no need for name-calling We’re All in This Together.

  5. Come on these lineman are there to help people get their life back in order
    The lineman are away for the family and their homes to make your life better and this how we thank them
    It is truly sad we as people have to stand up and not let this happen to people that want to help if you are in need there alway someone that will help WHAT ASHAME I’m are so sorry to the people that got hurt
    PEOPLE stand up for what is right

  6. To the friends and family of the young men, please do not judge the islanders by this one incident. We appreciate ,love and welcome your love ones help. We are truly sorry that this happened. We will continue to pray for them.

    To our people the behavior of this home grown idiot is a reflection on all of us .let us keep our eyes open and report and confront those who are hell bent on giving a bad name to the islands.

  7. Kim, I met your son when he was in Michigan with my brother he is a wonderful, funny, kindhearted man. We had fun hanging out with him and my prayers are with all of you. What a scary situation, may God watch over him and heal him.

    • Everyone seems to assume he was stealing the truck – which indeed does seem stupid seeing as St. John is a small island. What if, however, his intent was to run over people with the truck as in the attack in NYC yesterday?

  8. My prayers go out to the lineman for a quick recovery and the people of the Virgin Islands. A heartfelt thank you to all have come to help.
    As for the criminal element who have no interest in the welfare of the community when caught I hope that justice is swift and severe.
    To the members of the community I say turn them in if you know who they are. Their thoughts are not with the community they only delay the recovery while blemishing the reputation of our people.

  9. My husband was one of the individuals thrown from the back of the truck. He is fine. His friend was seriously injured but is doing better. He was flown to the mainland where he is receiving care. We hope for a full recovery.

  10. Also, they weren’t even working yet. It was early morning and they were at their resort waiting for other guys to come out to head out for work for the day. It’s unfortunate there are crazy people who has zero regards for others lives. My husband says he’s been treated amazingly by the locals and is proud to be there working to help everyone. One crazy person does not reflect negatively of everyone else there. He’s amazed and humbled by everyone’s kindness there on the island.

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