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.