By Orville Williams
After two days of disbelief, the operators of Dive Carib can now breathe a sigh of relief, having recovered valuable stolen items.
The scuba company, based in English Harbor, was robbed last Friday May 8, of thousands of dollars in scuba diving equipment, in what was described as a mystery.
However, one of the directors, Louis Evans, confirmed to our newsroom late last evening, that the police had recovered a goodly portion of the items.
“We haven’t really been given many of the details, but they’ve managed to get at least 90% of the equipment back. Possibly more, they’re still hopeful they might get the rest back,” he explained.
He also clarified that early speculation that it might have been an employee of Dive Carib, was inaccurate.
While the operators will no doubt be thankful the items have largely been retrieved, there is still no clarity yet on the strange nature of the incident.
Speaking with Observer the day after the robbery, Evans explained that of all the items in the shop, only the most valuable were taken.
“Last night, someone has got into the dive shop and taken dive equipment out, not everything, but they’ve taken our newest equipment I would say. It’s not brand new, but you can see that they’ve targeted the newer equipment that’s hanging up. We had a new order in December and you can see that the majority of stuff taken is that stuff.
“It looks like they definitely targeted scuba equipment, because there’s an expensive camera and a laptop out, they haven’t taken [them], so it’s definitely someone wanting to use or more likely sell scuba equipment,” Evans explained.
While he didn’t give a specific dollar figure, Evans said some of the stolen items include, “scuba cylinders – about half a dozen, buoyancy control devices (jackets you wear to scuba dive) – four of those, eight scuba regulators (the hoses that you put on the cylinder), five dive computers (that look like wristwatches), half a dozen masks and snorkels, half a dozen boots (shoes to wear with fins), some fins have gone and some dive knives and compasses as well.”
Up to news time last evening, the details of the robbery remained a mystery, with – according to Evans – no clear indication as to how [the thief] got in.
“Not really, no. There’s not really a sign of [place or manner of] entry. They possibly could have unscrewed all the locks, but they’d had to have put them back on, because they’re still there. So, [that’s] a bit odd. The shop is wooden, so it’s possible that they could’ve taken a wooden panel off the back and put it back, but it is a bit odd”, he said.
Due to the lockdown protocols in place, the operators had not been doing a lot of surveillance on the building, as Evans shared. “We were hoping to open soon, but we haven’t been, we’ve just been here sort of sporadically to just check on the place and do some maintenance on the boat and that sort of thing. We were here yesterday, cleaning the dive boats and today, this morning.”
He added that, due to the placement of the stolen items, they also weren’t immediately aware that anything was missing.
“We wouldn’t have even known really and we didn’t initially realise that the stuff had gone, but I looked to see where the jacket was [that] I used yesterday, it wasn’t there and then I started looking for something else and then you start to realise that things are gone then.”
Evans says the police – along with forensic personnel – intervened, but he admitted that there was “not a lot to go on really.”
He also said that there was some suspicious activity on the day of the robbery.
“The one thing we have is that someone was seen. We’re on the National Sailing Academy and the gate was closed; it wasn’t locked and someone came in, just as curfew was starting (at about 6 o’ clock) in a dark-grey car. [They] said they just pulled over because their car was overheating and they’d just give it ten minutes. It wouldn’t start after ten minutes and then they said they’ll just leave the car overnight, so they did and then this morning, the car was gone.
“That seems a bit suspicious, why someone would pull in here at 6 o’clock with an overheated car, when the gate was closed? They could’ve just pulled over on the side of the road,” he explained. While the Dive Bar operators are thankful to have recovered the items, it is now up to the authorities to clamp down on the criminals, in ensuring incidents like this do not occur again.