After witnesses reported seeing three men walk into the brush near Trunk Bay beach with backpacks that had been left near empty beach chairs on Monday, February 27, V.I. National Park Rangers leapt into action.
“It was our Visitor Use Assistant, who just came back to work after being off for medical reasons,” said VINP Superintendent Mark Hardgrove. “He took after them and held one of them until V.I. Police Department officers arrived. A VIPD officer caught the other man.”
While a VINP employee detained the first suspect, V.I. Police Department officers patrolled the beach and nabbed the second suspect, who was identified by witnesses and VINP rangers, according to Hardgrove.
Officials recovered one backpack and several cell phones, Hardgrove added.
The two men, both from St. Thomas, were advised of their rights before V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Alan Smith on Tuesday, February 28. The third man seen by witnesses stealing items from the beach remained at large as of press time.
Eighteen-year-old Corey Davner of Contant, St. Thomas, and Christian Rojas, 21, of Silke Gade, were charged with grand larceny and aiding and abetting a larceny, according to a report in the V.I. Daily News.
The two men are accused of stealing backpacks from both Trunk and Cinnamon Bays last week, which contained digital cameras, cell phones, IDs and other documents worth a total of $800, according to the V.I. Daily News report.
Magistrate Judge Smith released Davner on a $10,000 unsecured bond and upheld the $10,000 bail for Rojas, who has a criminal record and remained in jail at the Bureau of Corrections, according to the report.
Rojas is scheduled to be arraigned on March 15 at 9 a.m. while Davner is set to be arraigned on March 22 at 9 a.m., according to the V.I. Daily News report.