BVI News

‘False’ call diverts cops from RiteWay moments before robbery — Commissioner

This BVI News photo shows a section of Fleming Street which had been cordoned as a result of the shooting.

There is an unconfirmed suspicion that armed police may have been deliberately diverted from RiteWay food market in Road Town moments before it was robbed two Saturdays ago.

According to Police Commissioner Michael Matthews, his officers were at the location 10 minutes prior to the incident.

“They spoke to security, they checked if everything was ok and then, it is true, we had a call to the West End [area] which one of our armed response teams started to head for,” Matthews said while speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday.

“We think it may have been a false call because there was no evidence of an incident,” added Matthews who said police don’t know for sure if the false call and the robbery are related.

He noted that it is not uncommon for his department to receive false-alarm calls in relation to what residents sometimes perceive to be the ‘sound of gunshots’.

“But, what people believe are gunshots are not [always] actual gunshots,” he said.

Gunmen scoping cops

As for his belief in relation to the circumstances of the RiteWay robbery, the top cop said: “I suspect those criminals were watching the officers when they visited that supermarket 10 minutes before and waited till they saw the vehicle leave and then decided to commit their crime.”

He added: “Most criminals always end up getting caught.”

No arrests have been made in relation to the December 29, 2018 incident, so far.

The robbery

The masked gunmen involved in the incident reportedly gained access to the Fleming Street-based establishment by using a rifle to shoot through the glass entrance door of the food store. Staff members had locked themselves inside, at the time.

The assailants then took an unspecified amount of cash from the establishment. But, before the making their escape, the gunmen reportedly discharged a number of shots inside the store; leaving behind several spent shells.

No one was reported injured. Investigations are ongoing.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Could organised corrupt cops. You never know.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  2. Hmmm says:

    He added: “Most criminals always end up getting caught.”

    Not in these islands, not with this police force!! I do not know what the statistics are, but criminals here certainly do not end up getting caught.

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
  3. Curious says:

    No police in the West End area to attend to that call in West End? Why Road Town police had to go quite down there to attend to that call?

    Like 20
    • Stupes says:

      To give the perpetrator time to escape! If there was indeed an incident, by the time the police got to West End from Road Town, the perpetrators)could have been in the USVI.

  4. well says:

    Why not have at least two teams of armed police officers. Whilst one team is patrolling or attending to a call the other is on standby or patrolling else where. It is imperative that a unit be present and nearby for the Road Town and the outskirts of Road Town. That unit that went to West End had to now race back to town to deal with the call from Rite Way. That should not be.

  5. Wow says:

    Check your phone history then catch the guys

    Like 12
  6. Nonsense says:

    Electric Convection Cake Baking Machines/Industrial Cake Baking Oven/Oven Fo

    From the nonsense I just read, I am being made to understand that there are only two (2) Police Officers and one (1) patrol car in the Road Town Police station. While those two Officers on patrol they were called to respond to another incident in West End. NONSENSE poor excuse that does not make any sense. There is a police station at West End and one in Cane Garden Bay. What you telling me is NONSENSE. What we need right now is accountability and there is non.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  7. island man says:

    Too much police doing office work whilst crime happening outside. They need to have more patrolling officers.

  8. Phone network says:

    Provide us the number that called. We can provide data etc.

  9. Lawyer says:

    Size is not always better. Quality is the answer.

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