Merchant’s Commercial Bank Robbed by Two Armed Gunmen in Daytime Heist

Two masked men, one holding a gun in each hand, entered Merchant’s Commercial Bank in Greenleaf Commons, above, on January 11 and took off with an undisclosed amount of cash. They remained at large last week.

V.I. Police Department officials are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at Merchants  Commercial Bank in Chocolate Hole on St. John at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11.

Two masked men, one holding a firearm in each hand, walked into the bank and ordered everyone to the ground, according to VIPD’s St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy.

One robber went through the drawers and collected cash from several desks, taking an undisclosed amount of money. Bank officials will determine the exact amount of cash that was stolen.

Both suspects fled in a blue GMC Jimmy. The suspects were described as medium build, and between 5-foot 9-inches and 6-feet tall. One suspect was wearing a blue jump suit and sneakers.

The vehicle was discovered abandoned and a St. John K-9 officer scoured the bushy area. No suspects, however, were found at that time.

Police alerted V.I. Port Authority officers and made inspections at Coral Bay and Cruz Bay, including barges and ferries attempting to locate any suspicious individuals.

Forensic officers processed the crime scene for items of evidentiary value and detectives interviewed witnesses.

The suspects remain at large.

As of Friday, January 14, VIPD officials offered no further details about the robbery. In the wake of the robbery, Merchants — which does not have a security guard — did open for business, but the bank’s door remained locked, with a note requesting customers to identify themselves in order to enter.

While FirstBank in downtown Cruz Bay has employed a security guard for at least the past year, Scotia Bank in The Marketplace also added security detail last week.

Police are asking for the community’s help in solving this crime. Anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is asked to call Deputy Chief Foy at 693-8880, or Lt. Milton Petersen, chief of detectives at 715-5522, 715-5516 or 714-9834.

Residents can also call Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS.