NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Armed robberies continue to plague New Providence with at least 13 incidents recorded in the last two weeks, though authorities have remained tight-lipped about the recent trend.
One senior police officer, who was not authorized to speak on the issue and did so on condition of anonymity, acknowledged armed robberies have spiked in recent months.
When asked for comment outside the House of Assembly today, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said he has not seen the latest statistics but was advised authorities have made a number of significant arrests recently.
Dames advised Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson will address the matter.
However, calls placed to Ferguson, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash, and Superintendent Joy Bosfield of the Central Detective Unit in recent weeks have not been returned.
Daily crime reports in recent months have been inundated with armed robberies.
A review of these reports since October 25, showed 13 incidents, of which four targeted business establishments.
In all of these incidents, men were the victims.
On October 25, two men, one of whom was armed, robbed a man of his cellphone and cash on Pigeon Plum Street, Pinewood Gardens around 9 a.m., before fleeing in a silver Nissan Note.
It was one of two armed robberies.
Two armed men also robbed a man of cash on Mackey Street around 5 p.m. that day. The assailants fled on foot.
There were three armed robberies on last week Monday.
In two of the incidents businesses were targeted and cash was stolen — on Shirley Street and Farrington Road. In the third, a man was robbed of a white 2014 Toyota Camry near the Caves Village on West Bay Street.
Last Tuesday, two armed men robbed approached a man sitting inside his Honda Accord on Essex Street, off Shirley Street around 9 p.m. and robbed him of the vehicle.
Authorities reported two more armed robberies last Wednesday.
In one incident, two armed men stormed into a business on Milton Street, off Market Street, around 8 p.m. and held employees at gunpoint before robbing the cashier of cash. The assailants escaped on foot.
In the second incident, a gunman robbed a man sitting in a vehicle in front of a residence on Obadiah Street, off the Frank Watson Highway, of cash and a cellphone.
Last Thursday, police reported that an armed man robbed a man, who was standing near a vehicle on Chesapeake Road and Arawak Avenue around 11 a.m. of his gold chain, before escaping in a red Nissan Note.
The following day, police reported that three men armed with sharp objects robbed a man on a park on Arundel Street, Centerville, of cash before escaping on foot around 11 p.m.
On Saturday, three gunmen walked into a business establishment on Augusta Street, off Ferguson Street, and robbed the cashiers of cash before fleeing.
The incident took place shortly before 10 p.m.
There were two more armed robberies reported on Monday.
In the first incident, four armed men walked up to a man standing near a business establishment on Mackey Street around 11 a.m. and robbed him of cash and several cheques before getting into a Nissan Note. The vehicle had the license plate number: SN2267.
In the second incident, three men, two of whom were armed, accosted a man in the parking lot of a business establishment on John f. Kennedy Drive around 3 p.m., and robbed him of cash, before fleeing in a dark blue Nissan.
In July, authorities warned business owners in New Providence to be cautious of transporting large sums of cash following numerous incidents where they were targeted, and cautioned residents, particularly those in the southwestern portion of the island, of walking late at night.
At the time, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash said police had seen numerous robberies in the Carmichael Road area where people walking late at night alone became victims of crime.
Cash said he believed many of the incidents were crimes of opportunity.
In late August, the United States Embassy in The Bahamas advised its citizens to exercise “increase caution” when traveling to The Bahamas due to crime, noting that “violent crime such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault occurs even during the day, and in tourist areas”.
It said the vast majority of crimes take place on New Providence and Grand Bahama, though Family Islands were not crime-free.
“U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the area known by many visitors as the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime,” read the advisory.
“Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours are not consistently regulated. Watercrafts are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jetski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use Jetski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.”
Crime statistics for the first six months of the year showed that armed robberies were down six percent.
There were 474 armed robberies in 2018, an 18 percent declined over the 575 incidents recorded in 2017.
Crime statistics have not been released to the public since July.