Police in Barbados believe they may have broken part of the back of a metal theft ring in the island.
Eleven people, including four teenagers and a woman, have been charged with a spate of copper thefts and illegal possession of a firearm and are currently on remanded at Dodds Prison until September 18 when they will reappear in the District “D” Magistrate’s Court.
Two of them, 22-year-old Vasco Jordan, of Arthur Seat and 19-year-old Antoine Trotman, of Melrose. St. Thomas, must also return to the District “A” Court on October 10.
Police have also charged five of the accused with being unlawfully armed. Three of those also have to answer separate counts of stealing copper. The four different occasions of alleged copper theft date back to September 23 last year, with the most recent allegedly having occurred between last Friday and Saturday.
Three people are facing charges in connection with the September 23 theft, another three for a February 20, 2012 offence, five are accused for the stealing of copper on June 4, this year, and five for the theft which happened between last Friday and Saturday.
Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector David Welch told Barbados TODAY that members of the public need to understand what the force was up against and be vigilant, especially if they lived close to a construction site or a business dealing with metal.
He said he believed these arrests amounted to a significant breakthrough in the upsurge in copper thefts across the island. In fact, Welch said police now had two suspects in custody in connection with a recent theft of metal, adding he could not say any more on that matter, since investigations were at a delicate stage.
The police spokesman was also of the view that persons involved in the legitimate trading in metal could assist the force in reducing the incidence of copper and metal stealing and in their investigations in general.