The investigation into the mass looting continues to expand as more suspects are being identified and arrested. Many looted items are being found and confiscated. This investigation will continue to move forward with the assistance of the police forces of Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands, V.K.C, V.K.S, the Royal Marechaussee and the Customs Department. Vital information regarding looting continue to reach the police department which without any doubt demonstrates that the community of Sint Maarten will not accept this type of criminal act and the will do what is necessary to assist in solving this case.
A stern warning by the police department is going out to the community to be aware of what is going on since the massive looting after hurricane Irma and not to purchase any items from anyone who may approach you to buy probably looted goods. The prices that these items are sold for are mostly less than the value of that item. If during this investigation you are caught with any new items for which you cannot provide proof of ownership, the possibility may be that this item will be confiscated. You may run the risk of becoming a suspect, be arrested as part of the investigation and have to go through the judicial process.
Over the past weekend, police made several arrests. Below is a recap of the various arrests made, including the confiscation of a truck load of looted items.
House searches executed/ 5 persons arrested
On Friday September 29th during several house searches that were executed by officers from the from the different judicial departments presently assisting the Sint Maarten police force five persons were arrested as suspects in the looting case. During these searches a large amount of looted goods such was washing machines, fridges, furniture, food items and two brand new scooters were located and confiscated. The large vehicle which was used to transport these items was also confiscated and taken to the Philipsburg Police Head Quarters for further investigation. All suspects were also taken to the police station where they remain in custody for questioning and further investigation.
Man arrested with shotgun
On Friday September 29th 2017 a man identified with initials C.P. was arrested for the possession of a shotgun after the central Police Dispatch received information that this make was walking with this in public. A police patrol was immediately sent to investigate what was going on and after identifying this suspect and questioning him he voluntarily surrendered the weapon. The suspect was arrested on the spot and taken to the Philipsburg police station where he remains in custody for further investigation.
Two suspects arrested
On Saturday September 30th two men identified with initials A.M. and M.O. were arrested in Cole Bay for extreme public violence. During their arrest the suspect A.M. was found in the possession of an illegal fire-arm and was arrested immediately by the investigating officers. The fire-arm was also confiscated. Both suspects were taken to the police head quarters where they remain in custody for questioning.