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Sunday, December 3, 2023


St. Croix police continued their search Friday for three gunmen who stormed the GAF Security offices at the Weisner building in Peter’s Rest Monday night and made off with four .38 caliber handguns.
The receptionist, who was pistol whipped during the raid, is said to be recovering well despite having been very shaken by the incident. Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of GAF, Elroi Baumann, said the police investigation has included a review of the security firm's operations and personnel.
"They have talked to us several times since the incident and requested information about our operations," he said.
Initial reports say that the gunmen gained entry into the secured offices of GAF by forcing the company's exterior security guard to have the receptionist open up the door by saying he wanted a drink of water. Investigators are said to be examining the possibility of an inside job, but Baumann said GAF has no reason to suspect any of its workers.
"As of now, there is no evidence to implicate our staff," he said.
While GAF is not prepared to suggest the complicity of any of its employees in the crime, Baumann acknowledged a greater focus on employee background checks since the robbery.
"We are making adjustments to our office procedures and taking steps to provide additional security and safety measures . . . including more thorough screening and background checks of future employees," he said.
The four guns stolen from the agency are identifiable should authorities locate them. Each of the guns has a serial number which is recorded with the VIPD, Baumann said, adding that the weapons should be easy to trace if they turn up.
While the investigation into the robbery continues, Baumann said his hope is that the weapons stolen won't wind up being used in crimes before they are recovered.
"Of course we are not happy about more guns being on the street," he said. "We hope the suspects are taken into custody before those guns are used."
The GAF security company robbery has other security firms re-evaluating their defenses against robbery and theft. Commercial Security Services has made adjustments to its operations throughout the territory and Puerto Rico, according to General Manager Michael Moron.
"Security has been heightened at every level through the use of closed-circuit videos, electronic buzzers and a general stepped-up approach to our movements," he said.
He added that the armored vehicle service his company provides has been stepped up as a result of Monday night's incident on St. Croix.
"We must become a bit more aware of our surrounding and who's on the outside," Moron said.
CSS, Moron said, is also moved by the GAF robbery to suggest to its customers how they can improve their ability to resist criminal attempts to penetrate electronic security.
"It's a program aimed at making our electronic security clients more aware of their surroundings and their movements at home and in their businesses," he said.

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