A man has been arrested and charged following a gun seizure in the Fat Hogs Bay area of Tortola on Sunday.
Charged with ‘carrying an unlicensed firearm’ and ‘illegal tinting’ is 26-year-old Dabari Jonique Mercer of Baughers Bay.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) said they recovered the weapon during a routine stop-and-search operation.
“Officers of the Armed Response Team on patrol in the Fat Hog’s Bay area stopped the driver of a vehicle with excessive tint on its windows. After notifying the driver of the law as it relates to illegal tints, a search was executed and the firearm was found in driver’s front pants pocket with 12 rounds of ammunition,” the RVIPF reported.
Island Sizzle robbery
The police noted that the seizure comes “after police recorded a second robbery of an establishment in a little over a week”.
In recalling that incident, the RVIPF said two masked men — one of whom was carrying a firearm — entered the Island Sizzle in Baughers Bay around 8 pm on Saturday. They reportedly approached two employees.
“One of the perpetrators grabbed the cash register at the bar, a chain from one patron’s neck seated at the bar and purse from an employee and fled the scene at the rear of the establishment. No injuries were reported,” the police stated.
That incident comes roughly a week after the armed robbery of two Sea Cows Bay businesses.
In the meantime, Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has said these gun crimes will be met with a ‘robust response’ from the RVIPF.
He said: “Whilst at this time no links can be made between the firearm recovered yesterday and the recent robberies, potential suspects will include anyone found carrying illegal firearms. Your sons, nephews, your neighbours might tell you that they keep a gun for protection. Don’t be fooled. What starts wrong will end wrong, and often end in tragedy as has been seen in very recent events.”
“Possessing a firearm without a licence is against the law. Participating in criminal acts after that will be easier. Neighbours and family members must make a concerted effort to report illegal firearms and contact Police when they suspect someone has one,” the Commissioner added.
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