Police have recovered eight of eleven rental cars stolen in the days before Christmas, Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor said in a news briefing Tuesday. The commissioner also discussed a spate of homicides that took place on St. Thomas in the last weeks of the year.
The cars were first reported taken on Dec. 21. Velinor credited the diligence of the St. Thomas patrol officers and investigators in making the recovery.
Authorities still have not disclosed the name of the business apparently struck by the thieves or the location where the theft allegedly occurred.
Velinor spoke about the progress made in the case at the end of a press briefing on St. Thomas. A description of three additional vehicles, still missing, was given by Lt. Deborah Hodge of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Authorities are still looking for a white Jeep Cherokee, silver Ford Escape and gray Kia Sedona, Hodge said.
The other vehicles identified as belonging to the business were found in different locations around St. Thomas and recovered between Dec. 21 – the day they were reported stolen – and Jan. 3.
The commissioner declined comment about why the stolen property was discovered at different locations around the island.
During the news conference, Velinor also updated the public about a series of St. Thomas murder investigations. A cluster of homicides occurred in December – one on Christmas morning.
One criminal probe bore fruit before the day was out. Police arrested a St. John resident in connection with the Dec. 22 shooting at the Exclusive Bar and Nightclub in Contant.
Two individuals died in that incident. On Tuesday authorities arrested Kenedy Francisco Estevez Pinales of Estate Enighed. According to police spokesman Toby Derima, Pinales was seen removing items from the crime scene on the night of the shooting.
A search is still underway for Charlie Manuel Castillo Borg. The commissioner said Borg is wanted for questioning in the death of Ivan de Aza.
De Aza was identified to police as the person who fatally shot Luis Castillo Agramonte and two others who were wounded.
“The perpetrator who started it was shot by this individual. This individual left the scene and we have been able to coordinate with other law officers. We’ll be talking to him in the not too distant future,” the commissioner said.
Meanwhile, police are seeking information about the assailant connected to the Dec. 25 death of Francois Champagne at the Banana Split Bar on Brookman Road, and the Dec. 24 death of Kalico Canton. Canton was found lying unresponsive in a roadway in Hospital Ground the day before and was taken to the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, where he later died.
Velinor asked the public to help by providing information about any of the fatal shooting, including the Dec. 7 shooting death of Cedric Henry and that of Jackeel Henry on Dec. 21 in the Nadir Circle area.
“We’ve had some very, very troubling situations on St. Thomas during that time period and we’re seeking the public’s assistance,” the commissioner said.
Velinor urged anyone with information about the investigations to contact 911, the V.I. Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211 ext. 5606 or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.