A St John community is demanding urgent action from law enforcement, in response to reckless “young fellas”, who have been raiding their homes of cash and jewelry.
On Saturday night and early Sunday, five houses in Foster Hall were burglarised and residents are boiling with rage. The following day, police were seen combing the area for clues as residents considered homegrown strategies to counter the brazen activity.
Barbados TODAY understands the activity has been occurring periodically over the last two months and many predicted it was only a matter of time before an innocent bystander is seriously injured or worse.
Early Sunday morning, Glendine Doughty was greeted with broken glass, ransacked bedrooms and a missing money box when she got home from a night of socialising.
“I got home at 1:40 a.m. on Sunday and when I entered the house, I immediately realised something was wrong,” Doughty told Barbados TODAY.
“My shoes were scattered all over the place. I saw broken glass and when I went to my daughter’s bedroom, I saw all the drawers pulled and a money box was missing.
“Apparently, the person was looking for money or jewelry and escaped with approximately $200 worth of coins saved,” she said.
Indicating she was extremely shaken from the incident, Doughty said police responded quickly and a forensics team collected evidence in the form of fingerprints.
The traumatised resident however did not know she was one of many targeted over the last four weeks.
While numerous others were reluctant to speak about their own experiences, Veronica Springer, an influential voice in the community revealed the criminals were taking advantage of the laid back attitude of residents, climbing through open windows, breaking closed windows and locks.
“It is very frustrating and we need something done urgently. I don’t know how the police are going to handle the situation, but something needs to be done. It’s frustrating that people are working so hard and idlers are just coming and stealing what you have. It is not good enough,” Springer said.
While her home had not been targeted, Springer said she was happy with the increased police activity, but condemned the crime, which is an unusual phenomenon in the normally peaceful area.
“It has become frightening because the next thing we will hear is that somebody has lost his or her life or something like that and I don’t want it to reach that point.
“Whoever is doing this know the houses in Foster Hall and how many people living in the house.”
She furthered complained about an abandoned shop in the area, which could harbour undesirables and large, bushy plots of land as areas that need to be addressed.
“At night it becomes very lonesome and the young people are very scared with all the ‘house breaking’,” she said, adding she would support the implementation of a neighbourhood watch program.
“I had it in thoughts, but I never drew it to any of the neighbours’ attention but I think a neighbourhood watch would help.
“Growing up out here, we never had this problem, but just about a month ago, my neighbour, ‘Ms. Skeete’s’ shop was the first and we have been monitoring the situation. Just last week I heard there were two other houses that got broken into and cash was stolen.
Jacqueline Skeete (‘Ms. Skeete’) was deprived of a money-box when her house and adjoining shop were burglarised about a month ago.
“Every time I come outside now I have to lock my doors because something so unheard of is happening in this area,” she told Barbados TODAY. firstname.lastname@example.org