Daring thieves smashed their way into a store just yards from West Bay police station – stripping the business of about $15,000 in cash and goods.
An employee who turned up to open Vidette’s Grocery at 6am yesterday discovered the break-in.
The burglars entered the West Bay business through a garage located at the back. They broke down the store’s door, and destroyed all the security cameras before cleaning it out.
During their raid, the thieves took $1,000 dollars from the cash register, ripped open the Digicel “Top Up” vending machine, taking another $1,000, took $6,000 worth of cigarettes, as well as around $7,000 worth of cell phones, SIM cards, groceries and other items, says the owner.
And they covered their tracks by pouring bleach on the floor to mask their prints.
The store’s owner, Mr. Glenroy Bodden, says he is both angry and frustrated at the high rate of robberies on the Island. He said: “Look at where the police station is, it seems like people are just robbing you at will, and wherever they want to rob they just rob.
“This is a very heavy loss, something needs to be done.
“Just two years ago they, (burglars) came in through the top of the grocery store by cutting a hole through the zinc.
“It seem as if these people can rob just about anybody they want to rob at anytime they feel like.
“The robbers destroyed our CCTV security cameras, they walked through the garage and entered through the back of the shop.
“In addition to the cash they stole, they took cellular phones, phone cards, SIM cards, and groceries.
“They poured a chemical which looks like bleach on the personal security camera boxes.
“They also poured the chemical on the floor and all over their tracks.
“The burglars also tried to open a security safe inside the supermarket.”
Mr. Bodden says he now advises all other business owners and operators to be very cautious in their operations They took $1,000 from the “Top Up” vending machine.
He added: “I would advise other businesses to have an additional storing devise for their security cameras, and pay close attention to their surroundings.”
Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden confirmed they were investigating. He said: “We have not had any specific amount in terms of valuables taken from the establishment.
“One would be concerned that with the proximity of the police station any individual would take that chance just within striking distance of the station.
“But we should also remember that this burglary took place in complete darkness under which circumstance anything could happen.
“I would encourage business people to have a watchman if not proper security to enhance the security of their business.”