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Ladies and Gentlemen: I am writing to share the compliments and appreciation we extended to your Soufriere police team after a recent incident we experienced as American tourists visiting your lovely island for the first time.
I specifically asked the officer in charge of the Soufriere station for the emails of his superiors so that I could write to you. When people do such a great job, I think everyone should know about it!
We were staying at a villa in Colombette and noticed on the evening of Feb 11th after returning from a dinner out—and as we came to realize on the morning of Feb 12th even more of what was missing—that we had been robbed of some important things—an iPhone, a camera, some other electronic and wearable items—from the villa while we were gone for the afternoon and evening of Feb 11th.
This was the case even though the villa was locked carefully while we were out. Thanks to our conscientious and astute housekeeper who had a pretty good idea of who had taken the things—a teenager who lived nearby and who had stolen things from other places before—we were able to report the theft to the police office. The police were on the case immediately, and as it turns out, other items had been stolen from other locations as well during the same timeframe.
Our housekeeper identified the young man she suspected to the police and, as we went together to report the theft and missing items, one of the officers at the station indicated he had actually spotted the young man recently wearing a very identifiable “hoodie” Nike shirt that had been stolen from us.
The Soufriere police returned to our villa with us and, with sharp eyes, noted bare footprints on the roof outside an upstairs bedroom window which had not been locked, thus identifying the place of entry. Officers took our detailed statements and had us inventory items missing later that day at the police station. They were obviously doing the same at other locations where thefts had occurred.
A smart approach by the police team to locating and capturing the young man brought him in. They then had him make an effort to go with them to locate the items he had taken and to get them back to their rightful owners. For us, this included a camera and the iPhone, albeit the latter in pieces, plus some other items.
We were quite astonished and so appreciative of the efforts to actually get our things back!! As things were recovered, we were able to identify and pick them up, and some officers even delivered some later-recovered items we had identified.
We are aware from our housekeeper that this young man was having a very tough time with things these days because his mother has had a brain tumor and recent surgery for that. We really respected that the focus was on this young man trying to make things “good” again, not only for us, but for others from whom he had stolen. Had we been there beyond a short vacation, I would have put my some effort toward helping this family myself, frankly.
Through all of this, your Soufriere police were not only smart and attentive and professional, but extremely courteous and helpful to us, demonstrating the judicious element of compassion toward the 15-yearold that is essential for good community police work. The big picture is so important, right?
We are very grateful for all they did for us, and we ended this experience with the best possible impression of them and of St. Lucians in general. You have a lovely island with equally lovely people and we will be anxious to return. Here is the team who were involved in this matter. I hope you will join us in commending them:
Cpl 472 Vadraque
PC 167 Denis
WPC 829 Sonny
WPC 244 St. Jean
WSPC 137 Henry
PC 751 Isidore
PC 486 Jn Baptiste
Patricia Johnson & Gregory Kvam
Minneapolis, MN, USA