St. John Tradewinds News

Cruz Bay Suffers String of Burglaries

A handful of Cruz Bay businesses have reported break-ins or thefts in recent weeks and residents say they have a good idea who is responsible.

Nest & Co., a boutique on the second floor of The Marketplace, was burglarized after a busy weekend during the annual Flower and Garden Show.

The burglary occurred either late Saturday or early Sunday morning, according to Missie Hensel, Nest & Co. owner. Although no merchandise was stolen, $350 cash was taken from the register, according to Hensel, who added she will no longer leave money in the register after hours.

The thief attempted to break into the store’s window but the window didn’t break and broke the lock on the door instead, according to the owner. The recent incident was the first of its kind for Nest & Co., according to Hensel, who thanked customers and other store owners for their support.

At approximately 5 a.m. on Friday morning, November 4, Banana Deck was broken into and cash was taken. “They pried through the shutter on the outside door and used what was I’m assuming to be a crowbar to break the office door down and took cash and ran,” said Kristen Geisbert, owner.

“I think the person went to Stone Terrace afterwards and then set the alarm off,” she said.

The alarm at Stone Terrace was activated at about 5:40 a.m., according to an owner of the neighboring restaurant. “The doors were broken but as far as we can ascertain, nothing was stolen,” he said.

These were the first break-ins at Stone Terrace and Banana Deck, according to the owners.

When the Banana Deck owners called the V.I. Police Department to report the incident at 9:09 a.m. and no officers from the nearby Leander Jurgen Command had arrived after 20 minutes, they called again and were informed the officers were “in route.”

VIPD officers arrived at 9:40 a.m. but the forensics unit was not on island, according to Geisbert.

Geisbert and many nearby Cruz Bay business owners who have been victims of burglaries over the past two months, claim they have a good idea who is responsible for the break-ins.

The Banana Deck owner identified one suspect to the police and was told once a forensics officer arrived on St. John he would take fingerprints at the restaurant as well as fingerprint the suspect.

Other incidents included break-ins at The Inn at Tamarind Court, Big Planet and a private residence.