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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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New Trees Stolen from Smith Bay Ballpark

Two palm trees planted over the weekend were stolen Monday night from Smith Bay ballpark.

The trees were stolen shortly after a cleanup project by the Smith Bay Community Action Foundation, in which the group spent the weekend planting a dozen palm trees, picking up litter, adding trashcans and trimming hedges in the ballpark, part of an ongoing effort to bring peace and cleanliness back to their community.

A founder of the group, V.I. Police Officer Roy Chesterfield was one of the first to discover the missing trees.

“We put in a lot of hard work,” said Chesterfield. “We tried to uplift the place. I’m not sure who is responsible, but it was a selfish act on somebody’s part and it’s really disheartening.”

According to Chesterfield, the trees were planted 3 ½ feet in the ground using heavy equipment. “It must have been some effort to remove those trees from the earth,” he said, noting it was probably why only two were stolen.

The trees are valued at $60 each and will result in a felony charge. Chesterfield promises that those involved in stealing the trees will be prosecuted.

The Smith Bay community group began two years ago when members of the area decided that they wanted to empower their community by reducing crimes. The group now has several subcommittees such as the Beautification Committee, the Youth Development Committee, and Neighborhood Watch program dedicated to improving the area as a whole.

“We hear less gun shots,” Chesterfield said, adding there was also less petty theft. “With a little community involvement, we can change a lot of things,” he said.

The foundation receives most of its money through fundraisers and donations from local businesses in the area. It was also awarded two grants from the V.I. Waste Management Authority.

If you have any information about the missing palm trees, please contact the V.I. Police Department.

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