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Law Enforcement Apprehends Suspect in St. Thomas Youth Robbery Cases

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Image of Ajani Prentice, provided by the Virgin Islands Police Department.

ST. THOMAS — The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) has recently announced the apprehension of Ajani Prentice, linked to two separate robbery incidents involving young individuals in St. Thomas.

The initial event took place on Thursday, December 7, 2023, in the Estate Thomas vicinity. A report was filed by a 17-year-old, who was allegedly robbed at gunpoint by an individual later identified as Ajani Prentice. Accompanied by his stepmother, the teenager provided a detailed description of the suspect, who was said to be wearing grey sweatpants, a T-shirt, and a black stocking on his head at the time of the occurrence. Significantly, the minor confirmed his ability to recognize Prentice, noting the absence of any facial disguise during the robbery.

Another minor brought attention to a similar occurrence, visiting the Richard N. Callwood Command to report an incident dated Friday, December 22, 2023. This confrontation reportedly happened near the Hospital Ground Spring Hill Condominiums at approximately 1:30 p.m. The victim, who had gone to meet a friend, recounted an encounter with a black male donning a black hoodie, a camouflage mask, and black sunglasses. A subsequent struggle allowed the minor to unmask the assailant, revealing him to be Ajani Prentice.

Prentice surrendered to the authorities at the Richard N. Callwood Command on Monday, January 22, following the issuance of a wanted poster. Upon his surrender, Prentice received a briefing on his constitutional rights, yet opted not to comment on the allegations. He was thereafter processed and placed in the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, awaiting a preliminary hearing.

The VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau is diligently pursuing further inquiries into these incidents. The police department urges anyone with pertinent information to assist in their investigation by contacting 911, Detective S. Donastorg at 340-774-2211 ext. 5610, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers V.I. at their website.

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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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