Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Michael Matthews announced during a recent television interview that more arrests for looting are anticipated as the police is currently examining evidence that was submitted by the public.
The Commissioner, who expressed his disappointment that persons looted following the storm, pointed out that the looting is a reflection of a very small percent of the society. “Sadly looting as it is commonly known, where people took it upon themselves to break into homes and businesses and help themselves, something that I was pretty disappointed to say the least, those people here resorted to that at a time when the Territory was on its knees and people had suffered tremendously and took advantage of that situation,” he said.
Now he said that Force is exercising no tolerance for looters and is busy arresting persons who were caught in the act via photos and videos: “We’ve been successful we have made arrests and I made the unusual step of publishing details of people that we have arrested and charged and putting their photographs out for the media to see and I think that’s important.”
The Commissioner lauded the efforts of the community in sharing photos and videos of looters. “I did an appeal sometime back and we’ve been overwhelmed with the amount that has come in and our intelligence team is working very long hours to piece together exactly what has happened and we are identifying a lot of people, so further arrests will be made.”
Mr. Matthews also pointed out that persons need to refrain from generalizing and stereotyping as it relates to the nationality of the looters. “I think the public needs to understand that these are people that have come from miles away to come here just to loot, these are people living here in our communities and they weren’t just expats there were expats involved in that but there were also locals involved in that and those enquiries will continue.”