Three vehicles stolen in separate incidents on St. John within a 24-hour time period were all recovered by Saturday.
Local social media sites lit up on Friday morning when Alan Johnson, owner of St. John Ice, posted that his Red Toyota pickup truck was stolen from the gravel lot during the previous night. The truck was loaded with cases of water that he delivers to Coral Bay businesses.
Johnson started driving around the island looking for his truck when another resident reported that his white Toyota pickup had been stolen. The two stayed in touch, sharing tips. Then a third resident of St. John reported that his black SUV had been stolen.
When the owner of the white truck found a pile of cases of water in the middle of the road in Virgin Grand Estates, he knew he was on to something. He contacted Johnson, and they each found their vehicles, as well as the missing SUV, in the area.
“Communication is the key to life,” said Johnson, who said that losing his truck “was the last thing I needed.” Johnson was forced to shut down his production facility in August when the storm-damaged Lumberyard Complex was torn down. St. John Ice had been providing ice and potable water for months following Hurricane Irma, when no other facilities were operating on the island.
All three vehicle thefts are being investigated by the V.I. Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, according to David Cannonier, assistant police chief for St. John.
Johnson had warm words for local law enforcement officers.
“The police were fabulous,” he said. “They were out there right away. Attitude makes all the difference.”