A female St. John resident was robbed at gunpoint by two men in the parking lot of Cinnamon Bay Beach on Monday morning, March 27, but the attackers got away with only a container of hand salve from her purse.
I go out and walk the beach early in the mornings, said the victim. I had walked the beach at Cinnamon and was going back to my car in the parking lot. My dog was in the car and she tried to warn me that something was wrong by barking.
Came Out of the Bush
Two males came out of the bush in the parking lot close to the amphitheater, she continued. Because my dog was barking one of them sprayed pepper spray in the car and the other man had a gun.
The victim immediately screamed, but the attacker with the gun told her to stop.
I screamed and they pulled the gun out and poked it in my face and told me to shut up, she said. I had a beach bag with me and they asked for the bag. Then they asked me if I had any money and I said that I did not.
I handed them the bag and they kept jabbing the gun at me, she added.
Robbers Were Nervous
The attackers, who had fabric wrapped over their heads and mouths, were extremely nervous, the victim said.
I stayed calm, she said. They were really nervous and they had a gun. I didnt want them to get so nervous that they were going to do something stupid.
The two men, who were probably in their 30s, took off back through the bush near the Cinnamon Bay amphitheater with the victims beach bag, she added.
When I got in my car the pepper spray got all over me and I had a bad reaction, said the victim. I immediately reported the incident at the police station in Cruz Bay and then took my dog to the vet.
The victim returned to Cinnamon Bay Beach a few days later and found her beach bag.
I found the bag in the new parking lot next to the amphitheater, she said. The contents were strewn about, and the only thing they took was a can of Berts Bees hand salve. I never take anything valuable with me to the beach.
The victim and her dog both recovered from their reactions to the pepper spray and are now in fine health.
VIPD Deputy Chief Hard to Reach
Details about the March 27, early-morning armed robbery at Cinnamon Bay Beach were initially sketchy because V.I. Police Department (VIPD) Deputy Chief Angelo Hill did not return repeated phone calls from St. John Tradewinds.
VIPD spokesperson Sgt. Thomas Hannah was out of the office from Tuesday, March 28, through Friday, March 31. Hill is responsible for talking to the media when the territorial spokesperson is unavailable.
Hill, however, took a personal day on Thursday, March 30, and had a day off in observance of the V.I. Transfer Day holiday on Friday, March 31.
I am on vacation today, it is my day off, he said when contacted on his cellular telephone on Friday.
The only preliminary information regarding the attack came from V.I. National Park Chief Ranger Steve Clark, who did not have details about the incident because it was reported to the VIPD.
VIPD Initiating Investigation
It was an armed robbery at gunpoint, said Clark. The woman reported it to the VIPD, so they are investigating. That is typically the situation with criminal acts on St. John.
Whatever agency that someone reports an incident to, initiates the investigation, he continued. Sometimes we work hand-in-hand. But, until such time, Ill defer to the VIPD.