Tag Archives: Caribbean crime

Island-Wide Battery Thefts Anger Blacktip Island Residents

thief stealing batteries

Peachy Bottoms’ store has locked Blacktip Island’s few remaining batteries in a safe amid the spate of battery thefts on the small Caribbean island. (photo courtesy of Peachy Bottoms)

Thefts this week of batteries of all types have inconvenienced Blacktip Island residents and left authorities scratching their heads over a motive for the thefts.

“There’s nothing of any great value being stolen, just batteries and things with built-in batteries,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “There’s not a battery to be had on the island. If this’s some kind of ecological protest, the perpetrator hasn’t released a statement or made any demands.

“At this point is seems like an elaborate prank, aimed at inconveniencing folks,” Marquette said. “Thing is, whoever’s doing it’s going into people’s houses and cars and boats without permission. That’s illegal. I have a list of complaints as long as my arm. Whoever’s doing this will slip up eventually. They will be apprehended.”

The thefts have angered residents.

“Whoever may not be going after valuables, but they created a giant pain in the ass,” Vera Cuda said. “They stole the batteries out of my remotes,” “My TV doesn’t have controls on it—you have to use a remote. It’s just gathering dust ‘til I can get new AAs shipped in. If they don’t get swiped in the mail.

“Stole the battery out of my car, too,” Cuda said. “When I find out who did it, I’m gonna make sure he or she has to ride a bike for a long time. And tie them up next to the dump. This island’s is getting real stinky since they stole the garbage truck’s battery.”

The island store has been hard hit as well.

“First there was a run on batteries,” store owner Peachy Bottoms said. “Then someone broke in and snagged every battery from behind the counter. What batteries I have left—from little hearing-aid jobbies to scooter batteries—are locked up in the office safe. Whoever this modern-day Luddite is, they’re wreaking havoc.”

Items with built-in batteries are also disappearing.

“There’s not an electric toothbrush or sex toy to be had on the island,” Marina DeLow said. “If it’s some loony eco-warrior, they’ve made their point. If it’s a joke, it’s not funny anymore. Frankly, it’s the kind of performance-art gag Payne Hanover or Jerrod Ephesians would pull.

“It’s killing scuba tourism, too,” DeLow said. “With no batteries for dive computers, everybody’s doing old-school table dives. Guests are getting half the dive time they used to and’re pissed about it. Plus, two dive boats are out of commission with their batteries gone.”

Payne Hanover would neither confirm or deny theft accusations. Jerrod Ephesians was at a meditative retreat with the monks of St. Dervil and could not be reached for comment.

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Burglar Leaves Money In Blacktip Island Liquor Store Break In

The note and cash left in the Blacktip Island liquor store by Wednesday night’s reverse-theft burglar, who broke in undetected to pay for rum he or she had stolen during the past few months. (photo courtesy of Peachy Bottoms)


An unidentified person broke into Blacktip Island’s liquor store Wednesday night and left more than $300 in cash and a note apologizing for past alcohol thefts, island officials said.

“Damnedest thing I ever seen,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Guess somebody on Blacktip has a conscience. Whoever it was knew what they were doing—there’s no fingerprints, and no forced entry.

“The note was done in letters and words cut out of magazines, but there’s no other clues who’s responsible,” Marquette said. “Frankly, even if I caught the person, I’m not sure what I’d charge them with. Breaking and entering, maybe. But they didn’t take anything or do any damage. I guess it’s up to Peachy whether she wants to pursue things.”

The occurrence stunned the store’s owner.

“White rum’s been disappearing from the shelves for a while, but I wrote that off as the price of doing business,” Peachy Bottoms said. “I’ve never had a reverse-theft before. Or even heard of such a thing. I haven’t run the numbers yet, but it looks like it covers the last two months’ rum shortages.

“Whoever it was cased the place pretty good,” Bottoms said. “They didn’t damage the door, and avoided the security cameras. Hell of a risk breaking in. I get wanting to pay me back, but I’d’ve just left the cash on top of the beer cases during normal business hours.”

The small Caribbean island’s mayor praised the act.

“We get a bad rap for being a backwater island full of scallywags,” Jack Cobia said. “But this proves there’s good people here. Sure, whoever it was stole booze in the first place, but they atoned for that. I’m focusing on the positive.”

Island residents speculated who the culprit might be.

“Judging by the grammar and spelling, it’s someone not well educated,” Chrissy Grayby said. “Of course, that could be a red herring to throw people off the track. They like white rum, too. That doesn’t narrow it down much, but it does say something about the thief. I mean, if you’re gonna steal liquor, why not steal the good stuff?”

Others said they hope the incident boosts community spirit.

“I hope others on the island will follow suit,” Helen Maples said. “More and more items have been going missing lately. Blacktip has never been like that. It’s nice to think we might be reverting to the happier days when one could leave the house unlocked when off island.

“I’ve no clue why whoever’s conscience kicked in, or why, but I’m glad it did,” she said.

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Marker Thieves Make Blacktip A Black-And-White Island

marker thefts

The few remaining colored pens on Blacktip Island are locked in the Caribbean island’s police station until the person responsible for a rash of colored-pen thefts has been apprehended. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/Blacktip Times staff)

The theft of all colored markers in the Blacktip Island store Wednesday night has left many island residents questioning the culprit’s identity and motives, officials said.

“On the face of it, it’s someone’s warped idea of a joke, leaving only black markers,” store owner Peachy Bottoms said. “But it’s not funny my being out the cost of the markers and lock repair so some idiot can get high sniffing them.

“I got in yesterday morning and the door’d been jimmied,” Bottoms said. “My first thought was someone stole the cash or the safe, but those were untouched. The only things missing were colored magic markers and paint pens and colored pencils. And crayons, for when they get the munchies, I guess.”

Island officials worry the theft is part of a larger crime wave.

“This past week there’ve been reports of colored pens disappearing from homes and businesses,’ Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “I passed that off as people misplacing things, but in light of this break in, I’m re-evaluating that.

“Right now, anyone wants to write or draw in anything but black is out of luck,” Marquette said. “The few colored markers left are locked up in the police station until I get to the bottom of this. The multi-colored insults on the side of the police car aren’t helping the perp’s cause.”

The marker disappearance has many residents on edge.

“This isn’t a simlpe inconvenience,” Ginger Bass said. “The kids can’t draw in anything but black and white now. You should see their blacked-out coloring books. The younger ones can’t rationalize something like that. They’re cranky. Parents aren’t getting much sleep. We’re at a crisis point here.

“Plus, the dive staffs can’t draw dive site maps on the boats without colored dry-erase markers,” Bass said. “There’s some serious safety concerns in all this, you know.”

Others maintain the thefts are an elaborate hoax.

“It makes no sense. That smacks of one of Jerrod’s artsy projects,” Helen Maples said. “He can deny it all he wants, but there are an awful lot of colorful, hand-drawn designs on the outside of that crazy house of his.

“Lots of melted-down crayons tacked to the side of it, too,” Maples said. “There’s no proof, of course, but he certainly has the motive and is hare-brained enough to do it. And leaving the rest of us with only black pens is exactly his sort of humor.”

Jerrod Ephesians denied the allegations.

“I have all the paint and markers I need. Why would I steal more?” he said. “End of the day, folks are missing something that’s essentially useless. Is that really a bad thing? It makes them see the world differently.

“There’s a lesson in all this, really,” Ephesians said. “People don’t realize how dependent they are on something until it’s gone. Blacktippers learning to do without is a positive. It makes us all stronger.”

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New Blacktip Island Constable Fired For Enforcing Laws

new policeman

Tourists speeding on bicycles bore the brunt of the traffic citations issued by Blacktip Island’s short-tenured probationary police constable during the recent holiday weekend. (photo courtesy of draconiarain)

Blacktip Island’s newly-assigned police constable, who arrived Saturday to provide backup and relief for the island’s sole police officer, Rafe Marquette, was fired Sunday afternoon due to his issuing an excessive number of traffic citations.

“Probationary Island Police Constable B.H. Wrasse set the record for number of tickets written and shortest time on the job,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “He came in gung-ho and wrote tickets for every minor infraction he saw. Seat belt violations. Failure to use turn signals. Public intoxication. Disorderly conduct.

“There’s no call for that sort of thing on Blacktip,” Cobia said. “He was ticketing tourists on resort bikes for topping 15 miles per hour. You get one of those bikes to go that fast, you deserve a medal, not a citation. He bit the hand that feeds us all.”

Other officials say Constable Wrasse’s firing was due to who he ticketed.

“Problem is, it was St. Dervil’s Day weekend,” Public Works chief Stoney MacAdam said. “The whole island was drunk, most of them were driving and we were all disorderly. I mean, it was St. Dervil’s Day.

“B.H. screwed the pooch when he ticketed four Bottoms, three Skerritts and a couple of other big wigs,” MacAdam said. “Skerritt and Skulkin’s the only law firm on the island, and he managed to ticket both Skerritt and Skulkin in less than an hour. Skerritt twice. Not a good career move.”

The fired constable was unapologetic.

“I’m sworn to uphold the laws,” P.I.P.C. Wrasse said. “All the laws. I don’t get to choose which ones get enforced.

“Seems Blacktip’s not a rule-of-law kind of place, though,” Wrasse said. “It’s not safe, and people are going to get hurt. But at least I’m reassigned to Tiperon. They enforce everything over there.”

P.I.P.C. Wrasse had no sympathy among residents.

“We barely need one cop, much less two,” Bartender Cori Anders said. “People sort things out on their own here. Now, Rafe Marquette can be handy when someone gets a snoot full and starts trouble at the bar, but that’s about it.

“Besides, drink driving’s standard on Blacktip,” Anders said. “There’s no taxis or buses, and everyone’s out partying. Someone has to drive home. So long as no one gets hurt, or breaks anything, it’s not a problem.”

Others concurred.

“Rafe’s family,” handyman Antonio Fletcher said. “Knows what needs to be enforced and what doesn’t. Keeps his nose out of peoples’ business.

“The new kid didn’t see how Blacktip’s not like other places,” Fletcher said. “Most seat belts are too rusted to latch. And we only have two roads. No need for turn signals. You’re either going this way or that way.”

Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette was not available for comment.

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