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Child Neglect Charges for St. Croix Mother as Wandering Child Incident Repeats

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In St. Croix, a recent case of child neglect has come to light involving a local woman, following multiple incidents of her children being found unsupervised in the community.

Last Saturday, police responded to a call from the Quickserve Service Station in Frederiksted. A shop attendant reported a 15-year-old boy, known to have developmental challenges, was frequently present at the station without adult oversight, often taking items without paying. The attendant revealed having contacted the police previously and having discussions with the boy’s mother, Priscilla Reed, which often led to confrontational exchanges.

On this particular day, the boy had been at the station for over an hour before the police were alerted. It was confirmed that Ms. Reed had not contacted the 911 Emergency Call Center regarding her son’s whereabouts.

Upon arrival, the police escorted the boy to the Wilbur H. Francis Command police station and involved a social worker from the Department of Human Services. This incident, according to court records, is not isolated but part of a recurring pattern, with similar instances occurring as recently as late October. During that instance, another of Ms. Reed’s children, a six-year-old, was also found wandering near the Lorraine Village Housing Community.

The Department of Human Services was informed, revealing an existing open case with Child Protective Services concerning Ms. Reed. The police had previously advised Ms. Reed on implementing a safety plan for her home, including enhanced door security and an identification tag for the 15-year-old detailing vital information. Concerns have been raised about the boy’s safety, as he is known to walk in the middle of the road en route to the service station.

Ms. Reed was located and arrested for child neglect while walking from a park with her partner and other children. She was held in custody until her court appearance on Monday, where Judge Ernest Morris ruled probable cause for the charge and set a $50,000 unsecured bond for her release until trial. Her next court appearance is scheduled for December 13.

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Crime

Law Enforcement Swiftly Captures Suspect in Christiansted Robbery Spree

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Following a series of robbery incidents in Christiansted on February 20, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) demonstrated remarkable efficiency by arresting 28-year-old Koi Thomas. The alarming events, reported to the emergency services in close succession at approximately 10:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., prompted a swift and thorough response from the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives.

Eyewitness accounts from the victims were crucial in the investigation, enabling law enforcement to quickly gather surveillance footage pinpointing Thomas as the perpetrator. In a fortunate turn of events, Thomas had been apprehended earlier the same day on unrelated larceny charges in the Gallows Bay area, and was already under detention at the John Bell Correctional Facility.

Detectives visited the correctional facility on February 22, where they officially charged Thomas with two counts of third-degree robbery. Subsequently, Thomas was processed at the Wilbur H. Francis Command Police Station, with his bail determined at $25,000.

Despite Thomas’s court hearing being scheduled for the following Friday, information pertaining to his legal proceedings had yet to be disclosed publicly by Sunday. This arrest underscores the vigilance and dedication of the Virgin Islands law enforcement in maintaining public safety and swiftly addressing criminal activities.

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Crime

Tragic Shooting in St. Thomas Leaves Young Man Dead

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A tragic incident unfolded in the Bovoni Housing Community of St. Thomas late on Thursday night, claiming the life of a young resident. Omar K. Fontaine, a 20-year-old local, fell victim to a lethal shooting, succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds.

The incident was detected by the ShotSpotter Detection System, which notified the V.I. Police Department of the gunfire at precisely 11:11 p.m. Officers from the Mariel C. Newton Command swiftly responded to the alert and discovered Fontaine unresponsive. Despite the prompt arrival of emergency medical technicians, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fontaine’s untimely death has sparked a thorough investigation by the Major Crimes Unit of the VIPD, which is determined to bring those responsible to justice. The police are appealing to the community for assistance, encouraging anyone with information to step forward. Contributions can be made directly to the Major Crimes Unit at 340-642-8449, through a call to 911, or by submitting tips anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8476 or online through their tip form.

This devastating event underscores the urgent need for community cooperation and vigilance in combating violence and safeguarding our neighborhoods.

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Crime

Police Detain Suspect in Shooting Incident Near St. Croix Fire Station

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The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) announced the successful apprehension of 19-year-old Malyki Lockhart on Thursday, in a significant development related to a shooting attempt incident from September 10, 2023.

This operation, a collaborative effort by the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau, underscores the department’s commitment to maintaining public safety and bringing those accused of serious crimes to justice.

The arrest stems from an alarming episode that unfolded near the Richmond fire station on St. Croix. A man recounted a harrowing experience of being targeted by gunfire from an approaching vehicle, with the assailant identified as Lockhart, who allegedly opened fire while leaning out of the car.

In the wake of a meticulous investigation, it was concluded that Lockhart had purportedly been at the helm of the vehicle during the attack. This led to the issuance of an arrest warrant for first-degree attempted murder and a search warrant for his residence on February 14. The court set bail at $100,000.

Upon executing the search and arrest warrants, Lockhart was taken into custody. Given the inability to secure bail, he was subsequently detained at the John Bell Correctional Facility. He awaits an Advice of Rights Hearing slated for Friday at the V.I. Superior Court, where he will be formally apprised of the charges levied against him.

This arrest highlights the relentless efforts of law enforcement to protect the community and ensure that justice is served, reflecting the VIPD’s dedication to upholding law and order in the face of criminal activities.

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