Did this make the news in the VI last year?
POINTE BLANCHE--A thief walked into the harbour late Wednesday, started a St. Maarten Ports Authority (SMPA) pilot boat and sped out of Great Bay in front of a security guard.
The Coast Guard intercepted the man in the stolen boat several hours later, heading to St. Croix with marijuana. He was arrested.
Checkmate Security Services fired the unidentified guard for failing to stop the thief or report the suspicious behaviour, according to reports from different sources that the security company refused to confirm or deny. However, Checkmate admitted that the security risk had been great.
“Obviously, this was a very serious breach,” said Checkmate head Michael Kuiperi Thursday. He referred further questions about the theft and circumstances involving the guard to SMPA, citing an “investigation into what happened last night.”
The thief entered Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities after 10:00pm and stole the boat from the tender services jetty where it is stored after hours, SMPA representatives told The Daily Herald. He found the keys that were kept on the boat, started the engine and drove it away. A security guard saw it happen.
“The guard thought he was an employee,” a source said. SMPA requires workers to wear uniforms whenever on duty. It was after hours.
SMPA runs operations at the harbour, controlling everything from maintenance to security to docking fees.
St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies Chief Operating Officer Keith Franca told this newspaper keys were often left on boats to allow drivers to find them easier in emergencies. “This has been the practice for years,” he said, adding that SMPA planned to change policy on accessing the vehicles after this security failure.
Coast Guard vessel Poema caught an unidentified man speeding in the direction of St. Croix. When they stopped him and searched the boat, they found 39 kilos of marijuana. The Coast Guard seized the drugs and the boat, and took the man into custody
Who remembers? There are drug siezures in the waters off the islands all the time.
Ditto Linda's answer. St Maarten is the source (well, shipment point) of a lot of drug and illegal (oops, "undocumented") cargo that is shipped here then to the states.
Trade: Haitians mainly, but also Chinese, people from the middle east... anywhere there are human beings who want to come to America.
"YIKES PIRATES":-X are now stealing other Govt Boats on other islands,(OTHER ISLANDS)! arrrrgh!
You're right, EE.