“Hell Night at Bahama Palm Shores” is how resident, Don Wood, described the night of June 26 and early morning hours of Friday, June 27. During that time six homes were broken into and a large amount of goods stolen.
Five of the homes belonged to second home owners who had secured their homes for the summer and the sixth belonged to Don Wood who divides his time between his residence in Bahama Palm Shores and his studio in Marsh Harbour. Fortunately, he was not home at the time of the break-in; two roles of duct tape were found in his house when police investigated following the break-in so it can only be surmised as to the intention of the burglars for that duct tape had they met someone at home.
The first anyone knew about the break-ins was just before 8am on June 27 when Don Wood received a phone call from Denis Dupuch who, on his way to work, recognised Don Wood’s Polaris 4×4 vehicle on the Earnest Dean Highway almost at the Casuarina Point turn off. It was discovered that the stolen vehicle had been abandoned there after breaking down.
Sgt Darville of the Sandy Point police station was also on his way into town when he saw Don Wood’s stolen motorbike in the centre of the highway and assisted in moving the vehicle out of the road.
Bruce Smith, President of the Palm Shores Owners Association, notified the Sandy Point Police Station of the situation at 8am since the settlement of Bahama Palm Shores comes under the jurisdiction of the Sandy Point police.
According to Mr. Smith, Cpl. Higgs of Sandy Point had to go to Marsh Harbour to pick up Superintendent Noel Curry to come and carry out fingerprinting. Although it was seven hours before they arrived at the scene, they were efficient and professional once they arrived, stated Mr. Smith. They also returned on Sunday morning to carry out further investigations.
On inspection of the area it was discovered that six homes had been broken into. The burglars had used a pry bar to open up doors and they carried out a large quantity of goods including three flat screen televisions, a generator, two outboard motors, tools, chainsaw, lawnmower, electronics, cell phones, computer and even clothes.
A 1998 four-door white left-hand drive Toyota Corolla, license plate number 13849, was also stolen from one of the homes. According to Mr. Smith the car was hotwired, the key switch punched out and front light damaged during getaway. Graffiti had also been left by the intruders covering the wall in one of the homes.
Mr. Smith said that it appeared that three or four people had been involved in the break-ins and that the whole operation had been well organised. He had notified all of the second homeowners affected who he said were naturally “appalled, aghast and angry” at hearing the news.
All the persons affected are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the police investigations.
“This has cast a dark cloud over this Abaco community. The burglars have stolen the sense of peacefulness and security and peace of mind of the residents,” he said.
This was the second time that one of these second homeowners had their home broken into and it was also the second time in recent months that one of Don Wood’s residences had been broken into, once in Bahama Palm Shores and once in Marsh Harbour.
Mr. Smith urged that people should be vigilant when different persons are working in their neighbourhood and he also urges everyone to “be your neighbors’ keeper and be alert to any unusual activities.”