Police are investigating multiple armed robberies on St. Croix on Saturday, and said they arrested one man who was driving a vehicle that had two guns — one real, one fake — a ski mask, and two other occupants, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed in V.I. Superior Court.
Antonio Polanco was arrested and charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm, carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a school, unauthorized possession of ammunition, possession of an unauthorized firearm in a vehicle, and driving without a valid license, according to police.
He was jailed with bail set at $50,000.
Officers were on patrol at around 11:14 p.m. Monday and conducting multiple traffic stops on “white Ford Focus or Ford Fiesta type vehicles that potentially fit the description of the type involved in armed robberies that day,” according to the fact sheet.
One occurred at Carolina’s Bar in the Princesse area, and the other occurred later at Margarita’s bar and restaurant in Frederiksted, according to police.
The officers noticed a white Ford Focus with three Black male occupants parked alongside the gate for Pro Health in Castle Coakely, in the area of Hess Road, according to the fact sheet.
Police stopped and explained that the vehicle matched the description of one used in the armed robbery at Margarita’s, and ordered them to step out of the vehicle and patted them down.
“While doing so, we observed a black ski mask on the vehicle’s dashboard,” according to the fact sheet. The driver, identified as Polanco, got out and asked police to let him call his girlfriend “because I’m going to be arrested.”
Inside the vehicle, police found a black firearm that turned out to be a “black Glock air pistol,” and a loaded .22 caliber revolver, according to the fact sheet.
Police said they also found marijuana in the vehicle.
V.I. Police spokesman Glen Dratte said Monday that police are also investigating a burglary at Armstrong’s Ice Cream in Whim that occurred at around 4:25 a.m. Saturday. The serving window was damaged and the business had been ransacked, with cash stolen from the register, according to police.
At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to the robbery at Carolina’s Bar, where employees said two masked gunmen had made off with cash from the register.
At 9:25 p.m., four masked gunmen stole cash from the register at Margarita’s Bar. In a widely circulated video, the men can be seen threatening to shoot employees and aiming their weapons at victims in the process.
Police urge anyone with information about any of the incidents to call 911 or the anonymous tip line Crime Stoppers USVI at 800-222-8477.
- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.