Thieves who broke into the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA) Headquarters in Castries ran for their lives after a licensed firearm holder fired warning shots.
SLBWA President Glen Simon said the association’s Executive Director, Anthony Avril, informed him that the break-in occurred on Wednesday night.
Simon told St Lucia Times that there was a break-in attempt the previous night, and the association reinforced a door.
But on Wednesday night, an alert citizen who heard the loud sound of breaking glass and saw two individuals making off with tables fired warning shots, at which point the thieves dropped the items and fled.
“What they did to gain access to the building was they threw a rock through a glass pane above the door. The doors we have are of reinforced steel,” SLBWA President Glen Simon explained.
He said a piece of glass at the top allows light to shine through.
In addition, there are burglar bars and a security monitoring system which seemed to have failed.
“So they did not manage to make away with any major items except those two tables but their attempt was foiled,” Simon told St Lucia Times.
“We are most disturbed about this because the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association is an association that is there to assist people and individuals who are less fortunate and disadvantaged, those who cannot see well and those who are blind,” the SLBWA President lamented.
He said the break-in was especially disturbing given the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the SLBWA struggled to continue serving the public.
“We are calling on the Saint Lucian society to do better – do better by associations working in the interest of everyone,” Simon said.
He observed that the break-in allowed the association to further beef up its security system.
Simon said the reason for alerting the media was to ensure community members look out for each other.
He recalled that the citizen who fired the warning shots had heard the loud sound when the thieves smashed the thick glass with a big rock.
Simon also had a message for the perpetrators.
“You are doing no good – not even to yourselves, because the blind welfare association may someday be the institution that you will turn to for help,” the SLBWA President warned.
Headline photo supplied by SLBWA