“Cash for gold”. It was a statement said with a shake of the head this morning and echoed time and again by some of the more than two dozen persons who turned up to hopefully identify their stolen property.
These victims of robberies and burglaries were at Sugar Cane Mall, the City shortly before 11 a.m. for the viewing of tables laden with items which the police hope to find some breakthrough in identifying and, in some cases, linking to perpetrators or ongoing cases.
Several, for obvious reasons, were hesitant about being identified themselves and shortly before 11:30 a.m., Station Sargeant Bernard Hart opened the door to the rooms where the jewellery was to be laid out to apologise for the wait.
“It is so much that it is taking us long to display,” he told the then 18 persons waiting. “Unfortunately some has already gone to the block, but it is so much that we may well have to display it for some time.”
His declaration got tongues wagging as one woman lamented, “I feel mine done melt down. I telling you.”
The woman declared that her home had been broken twice, with gold jewellery among items taken, the last time belonging to both her and her daughter.
After the first four people were admitted, two of whom quickly exited the display room, Hart then made another declaration to the victims, telling them that the jewellery on display would have been taken between 2011 and March 15, 2013.
“If your crime occurred after March 15 this year, your jewellery would not be here. Anything from March 15 back to 2011, we want you to take your time to look through and be honest.”
Another victim, who noted that her house had been broken every year since 2009, said she had lost several thousand dollars in jewellery.
“This is four years straight. I remember when my father died and I came home from the funeral to find that our house was broken into. It is over $8,000 that I’ve lost in jewellery.”
Pointing to a bracelet on her wrist, the woman said it was the sole piece of gold she had left. “I’m hoping that I can recover all $8,000 here today,” she said, with a wry smile.
After leaving the display room however, she said she had only seen a single pair of earrings that looked like a pair that was stolen, but she would not cease hoping the other pieces would turn up eventually.
Another man noted he had lost $9,000 in gold, stolen from his home in a St. Michael community.
The man, who was positive that the thieves were watching his house, said the theft only occurred after his wife, who would usually be at home, left to go overseas.
“Dey tek all, every single piece. De only piece that lef was my wedding ring because it was on my finger,” he said.
While one older woman said the thieves were breaking homes all during the day, most victims said they were broken into during the daylight hours.
“No, they going in de day,” said a woman, who said she too believed she was being watched. “I left and when I get back home by 1 o’clock they did done brek my house and gone.”
One woman was persistent though, turning up for the viewing still wearing gold jewellery.
“Nope, I’m going to wear it. They’re not going to get me scared,” she said shaking her head and with a defiant gleam in her eye. She said the perpetrators had broken into her home while she was asleep and taken her jewellery. “They are not going to stop me wearing my jewellery.”
Police today displayed four tables of items believed to be stolen, inviting persons who had been robbed of items to come identify any of the pieces. Victims who came today were also encouraged to return again during the week as more items will be displayed over the next couple days. (LB)