Manager shot in robbery THIEVES TAKE MORE CARS
Parents and guardians of pupils attending Belmont Primary School, My Lord’s Hill, St Michael, are advised that the school will remain closed today due to an environmental problem in the area.
The Ministry of Education has reassured parents that its officers and those of the Ministry of Health are working to find the source of the problem and regret any inconvenience caused. (BGIS) Please see also Page 8. Car thieves in Barbados have seemingly found a niche market and are cashing in on it.
Within the past three years the number of stolen vehicles has increased almost five-fold.
According to police public relations officer Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler, while there were only 22 reported car thefts in 2014, last year that number had ballooned to 106.
That figure was still slightly less than the 111 cars stolen in 2015. In 2012 and 2013 there were 68 and 63 cars, respectively, reported stolen.
Cobbler was unable to provide the WEEKEND NATION with the number of vehicles which had been stolen so far in 2017. Earlier this year, three men were charged with 21 counts of theft in connection with cars which went missing between April 2014 and May 2017.
President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados, Michael Holder, said the association was now putting together statistics on the number of cars stolen for the year. He said until he received those final figures he would be unable to comment on whether there was an increase or decrease.
But one insurance executive who spoke to the WEEKEND NATION on condition of anonymity said several of their clients had their vehicles stolen recently.
He pointed out that Toyota cars were being
A mechanic with over 30 years’ experience said Toyotas were being targeted because of their popularity, resale value and because they were easy to break into.
Anthony Simmons said in most instances that the cars were sold off as parts after being stolen.
“Toyotas have one of the highest resale values and it is also one of the easiest cars to steal. The newer models such as the 2017 and 2016 cars use keyless entry so those are harder to steal, but the AE110S and the older models are easy,” he said.
“In some instances a key can be shaved down and used to gain entry into those cars and they can be easily jump-started. There are a lot of those cars on the roads so the parts will sell easy. Car thieves may be able to sell that car within a day.”
Another insurance executive said there were three types of insurance policies, with two being exceedingly popular – those being comprehensive and third-party.
He explained that if a vehicle had comprehensive insurance, it meant any damage – whether it was due to fire, overturning, theft, hurricane, flood or earthquakes – was covered. In the case of third-party insurance, people would be covered in event of an accident, but not the vehicle.
He pointed out, though, some insurance companies offered a third party policy which also covered fire and theft.
The veteran executive said if a car with only third-party insurance was stolen, the owner would not be compensated.
OFFICIALS at the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) are concerned by the high numbers of young people who seem to be addicted to drugs.
This was revealed by research officer at the council, Jonathan Yearwood, during an interview with the WEEKEND NATION.
“We are very concerned about the possible or potential persistent use of drugs in any form, whether it is alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or harder drugs. So we as an agency are very much concerned of the drugs, because with that persistent use comes problematic behaviour. This not only holds for the individual in terms of their personal situations, but also in relation to their health, and the consequences of addiction to harder drugs and the implication for the criminal justice system,” he explained.
While he said that he did not have the exact figures to hand, he said surveys are conducted among the school population and the national population to determine the level of drug usage among people ages 12 to 55. Data is gathered in both primary and secondary schools, the Psychiatric Hospital, and treatment facilities such as Verdun House and Marina House, and the prison for those seeking treatment for