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3 teens steal vault with gun, ammo


TWO 14-year-old boys and an 18-year-old girl stole a large vault from a Point Fortin real estate agent on Tuesday. The vault contained a gun, ammunition and $2,000 in cash. Relentless efforts by the three to smash the steel vault and steal its contents, proved futile.

When they failed to open it, the boys and the teenage girl pushed the 500-pound vault off a cliff along the Chatham Village sea coast in an attempt to shatter it so they could share the spoils.

Fortunately, the Point Fortin police were already hot on their heels, and held the two boys and the girl.

Yesterday, senior officers said that uppermost in their minds was the fact that the vault contained a .38 revolver and 25 live rounds ammunition. They were pleased that the gun did not end up in the hands of the youngsters.

Up to late yesterday, the boys and the girl, of Chatham Village, were being interrogated at the Point Fortin Police Station.

Police said yesterday that one of the boys frequented the home of the vaultís owner ó 65-year-old Errol Spencer of Beach Road, Chatham.

A police report stated that Spencer filed a report with the Point Fortin police that his house had been ransacked. The report stated that Spencer noticed that his vault which he had secured in a room, was missing.

Spencer told police he had secured his licenced .38 revolver, 25 rounds of .38 ammunition, documents and $2,000 in the vault. The vault, which was made of steel, was layered with a fireproof wall, a two-inch thick cast iron lining, and a two-inch thick layer of copper and iron. It was also fitted with a combination lock, and stood on wheels.

Police said yesterday that preliminary investigations revealed that one of the boys crawled through a window at Spencerís home and let in the other two.

The report stated that the three wheeled the vault out of Spencerís house. Spencerís house is located on a plot of beachfront property along the Chatham coastline. There are no other houses in the area, police said.

When they had wheeled the vault outside facing the beach, the boys and the girl fiddled with the lock in an attempt to crack the combination. When they were unable to crack the vault, police said, the two boys and the girl pushed the vault another 200 feet. They then shoved it over the cliff-side and, according to the report, the vault dropped down some 80 feet to the beach. The trio then made another attempt to prise the vault open.

The police report stated that the three covered the vault with leaves and sand, and they returned in the night with a hacksaw to try to open it.

According to the police report, the young bandits sawed off the doorís hinges, but when attempts at prying open the locked door proved futile, the two boys and the girl again covered the safe with leaves and sand. Police said they had planned to return yesterday.

By that time, police had already embarked on a search for the culprits who stole Spencerís safe. Acting on information, the report stated, a party of police officers including PCs Gookool and Banga, went to the homes of one of the boys and the girl at 4 am yesterday. (Wednesday)

Police said that the other boy, in the company of his aunt, surrendered to police yesterday.

Police recovered the vault from the beach but it took the Jaws of Life and two firemen from the Point Fortin Fire Station to prise open the vault yesterday.

Police said the suspects are expected to be charged today.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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