A quick response from local residents to ads posted on Facebook and broadcast over the radio helped local car rental owner Adrien Austin recover one of six vehicles stolen from his business Monday night, but the incident has left him concerned about the state of the community.
“I think we’re all pretty intimidated by the fact that if someone was desperate enough to steal six cars – and usually, they only steal cars to do some very bad things – then maybe some very bad things are about to happen,” Austin said Wednesday while out on the hunt with the V.I. Police Department.
Austin said his car rental was broken into around 2 a.m. Monday, in the middle of the storm that hit the territory. Police responded quickly to Austin’s incident report and have been working through surveillance footage, but he said the biggest response has so far been from community members who have seen reports about the incident on social media and other outlets.
“The one we just found in Bordeaux was called in by someone who saw the news on Facebook,” said Austin, who put out a $1,000 reward for information on any of the vehicles or the incident. Austin said he is also going to be taking out ads in local newspapers and in the meantime, VIPD has put out an all-points bulletin for each car.
Austin said an incident like this is a huge hit for any local business.
“The police response so far has been fantastic,” he added. “But even with that, no one is going to be able to do business, or have jobs, or live here if everything is upside down. Things like this raise a lot of concern over what’s going on in the community.”
The missing cars are:
– 2013 white Chevy Cruze, license plate TES-592
– 2015 white Toyota Corolla, license plate TES-192
– 2016 white Toyota Corolla, license plate TEV-887
– 2016 red Toyota Yaris, license plate TEL-300
– 2017 gray Nissan Versa, license plate TFJ-805
– 2017 white Ford Escape, license plate TFK-917
According to a VIPD news release issued Wednesday, the case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Police asked anyone with information on the missing cars to call the VIPD at 340-774-2211 ext. 5606, the Office of the Police Chief at 340-715-5548, the Office of the Commissioner at 340-715-5506, the 911 call center, or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.