Police Deny Burgled Premises Housed Passports
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is investigating the Christmastime break-in at the Lamar Building in Castries. The building houses the criminal administration office, and the Vulnerable Persons Unit. It is unclear exactly when the break-in occurred. As assistant police commissioner Wayne Charlery explained this week: “We shut the building on Monday 24. The burglary must have happened between then and Wednesday.”
Questioned about CCTV cameras at the premises, Charlery said to answer that would amount to sharing information that could hurt police investigations.
It had been bruited about by anonymous Facebook investigators that seventy-five passports had been taken from the building by the burglar or burglars. Charlery dismissed the report as “totally erroneous, not true at all”. He confirmed that the rented space was used only as “an extension office of the immigration department”. The police indicated that around $300 had been stolen but it had not yet been determined whether any documents may have been removed. “Passports are not kept at this office,” said Commissioner Severin Monchery.
Charlery agreed security at the Lamar building was obviously inadequate. He added: “Certainly this is an embarrassing incident. These commercial enterprises would not have initially been constructed structurally or architecturally for top-notch security. So that poses a challenge. When the police acquire commercial spaces, they should be fortified to suit. But that costs money.”
Monchery added: “At the end of the day we are tenants and don’t have full control of that building. Even though we have some departments in that building, there are other tenants. We do not have full control of the entire building.”
Monchery dismissed the notion that the break-in was meant to teach the police a lesson. He said, “We have to understand that these are not departments that are directly under the control of the police. It would be a completely different matter if burglars were to break into a police station. We need to look at the motive. When the investigation has been completed, we will be better placed to give more defining responses.”
The police say that there are “some very good leads". The burglary was reported over two weeks ago but to date no arrests. Charlery appealed to the public to “just bear with us. We’re doing our best in our circumstances and will continue to be upfront and transparent. We’ll offer updates whenever there’s something new to report."
Police commissioner, Severin Monchery said this week that although the RSLPF was a tenant at Lamar Building, the force is not directly responsible for security. The building was burglarized between Christmas Eve and the following Wednesday.