Sen. Capehart carjacked at gunpoint on St. Croix


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ST. CROIX - St. Croix Sen. Diane Capehart was emotionally shaken but not physically harmed Monday night when she and a companion were robbed at gunpoint on Melvin Evans Highway.

According to the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency police blotter, which documents a list of calls made to emergency 911 dispatchers, police received a report at 8:12 p.m. of a robbery and carjacking on the highway near Hannah's Rest.

According to the preliminary report to police, Capehart and her friend had been out putting up posters in the area as part of her campaign for re-election when they were approached by at least two gunmen who demanded their valuables.

After the taking their cellular telephones and an undisclosed amount of cash, the robbers made their getaway in Capehart's navy blue 2013 Jeep Wrangler.

The robbers stopped to pick up three more people who were hiding in bushes a few feet up the road before driving off to the east, police said.

Police said while Capehart and her friend were visibly shaken, no one was injured during what police have classified as a first-degree robbery.

Sen. Kenneth Gittens, chairman of the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security, Justice and Public Safety, said he was notified of the incident shortly after it occurred and met Capehart at the police station in Mars Hill, where she filed her report.

"While this could have happened to any one of us out here, it is my colleague, and I am relieved that no one was physically harmed," he said.

Police have issued an all-points bulletin for Capehart's Jeep, which has license plate number CEP 352 and Capehart campaign signs in the windows and Capehart campaign stickers on the bumpers.

In response to the robbery of Capehart and her companion, Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr. issued a statement just after midnight saying he is suspending all in-house training - which is required under the federal consent decree - and lifting overtime restrictions currently in place in an effort to increase police presence on the streets.

Police are asking anyone with information about the robbery or who may have seen the stolen vehicle to call police at 911 or contact the Crime Stoppers USVI anonymous tip line at 1-800-222-8477.

- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi

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