Crime of the Week: ATF Seeks Help in Solving Recent Arson Fires

The anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, seeks the public’s help to resolve two arson cases that took place in the territory in recent months.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is requesting any information regarding the April 30 early morning fire at the Stop and Save Food Market as well as the May 8 fire at St Croix Trading in the Mount Welcome area of Christiansted.

Both fires have been determined to have been intentionally set. Both businesses additionally report the theft of cash and other items of value.

Evidence collected from the Stop & Save Food Market fire scene indicates that two or more individuals were involved and likely sustained light to severe burns from setting the fires. Indications for a person having been involved would include a strong smell of gasoline, diesel fuel, or other flammable liquids on their bodies or clothing, along with burned, singed, or melted clothing.

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Officials urged anyone who knows a person who has sustained burns, singed hair or other injuries to their arms, legs, abdomen, face or neck between the dates of April 30-May 8, to contact the USVI Fire Marshal’s Office, or the anonymous top service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477 (1-800-222-TIPS) or online at www.crimestroppersvi.org or www.P3tips.com.

In addition to the Crime Stopper USVI reward, an additional reward in the amount of $10,000 has been offered for each of these incidents by the ATF for information leading to an arrest in these arson fires.

School Vandalism
The Arthur A. Richards Jr. High/Alexander Henderson Elementary shared modular campus and Juanita Gardine Elementary School all closed early Tuesday due to vandalism over the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Department of Education.

The WAPA line supplying water to the Arthur A. Richards Jr. High/Alexander Henderson Elementary shared campus was destroyed, cutting off the campus’s water supply. At Juanita Gardine, 16 classrooms along with the school’s cafeteria and kitchen were burglarized and ransacked.

On Sunday, police and fire officials responded to a blaze in the cafeteria at the vacant Charles H. Emanuel Elementary School building in St. Croix.

Anyone with information on the Crime Of The Week cases can call Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477 (1-800-222-TIPS) or submit a tip online at www.P3tips.com or www.crimestoppersvi.org. Callers wlll be issued a confidential PIN and are encouraged to check back frequently for reward eligibility. Information leading to the resolution of a case can qualify the caller for an anonymous cash reward.

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