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Monday, October 8, 2012


For some time now, Choiseul/Saltibus has been subject to a spate of "rather mysterious" burglaries targeting gas stations, business places, credit cooperatives and homes, among other places; and the police must have been at their wit’s end trying to figure out what was happening and who the burglars were.

After many months, the good news is the police have finally made a major breakthrough and have arrested and charged a young man (25-year old) from Cafeiere, who it is alleged, was at the centre of most of those burglaries.

If all the “theories” being bandied about have any merit, and if the police are conscientious about bringing greater peace and security to the district, then they are in a good position to put the pieces of the “puzzle” together and to make big busts on crime in the coming weeks.

By way of background, the young man in question has been identified by the police as Scott Octave, a graduate of the Choiseul Secondary School. He is perhaps one of the most unlikely persons that anyone would associate with the spate of burglaries he has been charged with.

At school, Scott was generally well-loved and was an “excessively” friendly student who was perhaps every teacher’s pet. He was likeable, well-behaved, well-mannered, polite and obedient and spoke in a “nice” and “sweet” tenor voice. Many of us who knew and taught him would have never conceived that he was “capable” of those crimes he has been charged with.

He is being offered bail to the tune of $12,000 and it seems a remote possibility that anyone will ever come forward to his rescue, except perhaps a member/members of his underground network who may have been beneficiaries of his adventures.

His immediate family and neighbourhood have totally disowned him because of those alleged acts he has been charged with.

Let us take a look at the targets he is alleged to have burglarize (either on his own or in league with his underground network):
(1)        Barbara Perfect’s residence at Morne Portalese;
(2)        Nicholas Service Station at La Fargue;
(3)        R and Zee’s Service Station at Piaye;
(4)        Saltibus Credit Union (Piaye Branch);
(5)        Belle Vue Farmers’ Co-operative;
(6)        Builders’ Choice (La Fargue)

All potentially lucrative targets!

I met Barbara Perfect in May 2011 and we spoke briefly about her work in St. Lucia. She is an American citizen who chose to make Choiseul her home. She is doing admirable work in the St. Lucia Hyperbaric Society by helping to make St. Lucia a “safe dive” destination. (You can visit her organization’s website at to understand what she doing for our island)

According to reliable sources, her home was well-wired with surveillance equipment but the burglars were able to cut through her fence, disable the equipment, enter her premises in the dead of night and made away with a quantity of jewelry and other valuables. It must have been an extremely frightening experience for Barbara and it’s nothing short of a miracle that she is still alive and suffered no bodily harm. The burglars perhaps understood the potential implications of their actions very well!

Both Nicholas and R & Zees are alleged to have suffered heavy losses as a result of their burglary.

Builders’ Choice was the last business place targeted. A quantity of equipment including power tools was stolen and hidden in a Cafeiere gorge. The Police have reported that they have recovered most of those stolen items.

The magnitude of the loss suffered by the Saltibus Credit Union, Belle Vue Farmers’ Cooperative has so far not been disclosed.

Tangentially, and in addition to the cases cited above, there are still a number of pending cases involving auto theft and burglary of a Belle Vue home belonging to the parents of a police officer! The POWERHOUSE has been reliably informed that there may be sufficient actionable intelligence on all of those cases and the police are closing in on them.

The question weighing most heavily on the minds of Choiseulians is: Did Scott act alone or did he act in league with a network? If he is part of a network of criminals, then who are the members? Where are the stolen money and items he made away with?

One school of thought is he may have sold the items on the traditional Vincy black market; But what about the stolen cheques belonging to the service stations? What did he do with them?

Obviously, these are leads worth pursuing by the police, if they are interested in constructing “the whole picture” and neutralizing the criminal base.

The situation in Choiseul presents an opportunity for the police, the marine unit and the Regional Security System (RSS) to work together to completely neutralise the dangerous “Vincy link” which provides an avenue for the criminals to market their loot. Perhaps, it may also be a good time to request support from Interpol, CIA and Scotland Yard.

As part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the POWERHOUSE is aware that the Americans have installed high-tech, state-of-the-art security infrastructure in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean to monitor and detect criminal and potential terrorist activities across the islands. All we have to do is pass on any actionable intelligence to them, especially now that their citizens are targeted.

We must seek to neutralize the perpetrators and the earlier, the better. Scott may well be the tip of the iceberg!

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