It is ironic that Mr Boschulte's letter praising the VI Police Department comes on the heels of the recent St Croix Crime wave. I mostly agree with Mr. Bosculte, however; more needs to be done and more cane be done to help make our island safer for all law abiding citizens and visitors. Recently, the Sunset Grill just north of Frederiksted was robbed at gunpoint by three masked "men". I place the word "men" in quotation marks because these criminals' actions prove that they don't deserve and haven't earned the right to be considered men in our society.
The owners, Jim and Shirley Winslow, and their daughter Rachel are a hardworking family. They put in long hours and tremendous effort every day to give their patrons a rewarding dining and entertainment experience. When you patronize the Sunset Grill you are treated like part of their family which along with the great food and seaside ambience makes the evening that much more worthwhile. Everyone on the staff, from the kitchen, the bar and the servers are hardworking as well. They and their guests were all threatened at gunpoint last Tuesday night in what must have been a harrowing, bone chilling experience by masked and armed theives. My understanding is that when the police were called they showed up a half an hour after the armed robbery occured.
It is not just the Sunset Grill, recently The Diamond Club and Spratnet were hit by armed robbers, fortunately, thank God, no one was injured in these assaults. Sadly, a taxi driver had his throat slashed the other day by one of these outlaws as he was robbed. The police have apprehended a suspect in that crime.
I don't know if a quicker response to the Sunset Grill armed roberry would have been more effective in apprehending the criminals, but the slowness of the response feeds a perception that these robberies are not taken as seriously as they should be by our police department. What is it going to take? Is someone going to have to be shot or killed for this kind of crime to be taken more seriously? When weapons are used in the commision of a theft that crime is escalated beyond mere theft and should be a serious matter in our community. It should not be tolerated or rationalized. The victims should not be blamed. We need to show the criminals that they can not strike us with impunity. These types of crimes are assaults on our entire law abiding community and definitely not good for our image as a tourist destination. The response by law enforcement needs to be more appropriate to the level of threat that this crime of armed robbery poses to our community as a whole. I applaud the police for beginning to get a handle on crime but more still can and needs to be done. We are all in this together–black, Hispanic, white. We sink or swim together.
Christiansted, St. Croix
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