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American Businessman considers leaving the Bahamas after business is robbed

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

AN American businessman who lives in the Bahamas yesterday said he is contemplating leaving the country after his business was robbed of a “substantial” amount of money, jewellery and electronic items on Monday morning.

Sandy Schaeffer, former owner of the Robin Hood store and now partner in the Everything Must Go Store on Prince Charles Drive, told The Tribune that on Monday, two thieves entered his office at Everything Must Go and removed a safe containing an unspecified amount of funds. Mr Schaeffer said the thieves also stole jewellery, TVs and other electronic goods.

However, Mr Schaeffer declined to specify the amount of money stolen for fear he would become an “additional target for anybody else.”

This marks the second time in four months Mr Schaeffer has been the victim of criminal activity. In April, this newspaper reported Mr Schaeffer’s account of being held up and robbed at gunpoint in “broad daylight” at JFK Drive’s Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch.

“This place has become the Wild, Wild West,” Mr Schaeffer said yesterday. “And there’s a lot of commentary about things that have really very little to do with our lives. It’s like having a group of people arguing over how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. The boat’s going down with everybody on it. And unfortunately here we see a deterioration of the quality of life.”

He added: “This is the third major offence that I’ve experienced personally just this year and this was a substantial loss for us. We average about 25,000 customers a month and we’re only open 12 days a month. That means we have over 2,000 people a day coming into our store. And we’re selling things at prices that nobody on the island can match. We’re helping people. We’re not getting rich doing it.

“But man alive, when does it ever start to come down to ‘I’ve had enough?’ Because believe me, this last one that happened (Monday), gave me that moment of pause to say, is it worth it? Just sell everything and leave. Start again. Go back to the US where it’s infinitely more safe.

“We have a higher per capita murder rate than New York City does, than a lot of major cities in the US do. And nobody seems to be getting it.

“We all say it’s a problem, but who speaks up to do something about it?”

According to Mr Schaeffer, he and his son typically make night deposits through the security company that he engaged to provide 24/7 surveillance at Everything Must Go.

He said that on Saturday night he and his son realised that they didn’t have the deposit book from the bank that they use. As a result, he said he called the security company and told them that they would not be making any night deposits for that day and would instead do it on Monday.

Mr Schaefer said he went back to the office on Sunday morning, where he claimed he remained for four hours without incident.

“Everything was fine, nothing had been touched,” he said.

However, at 5.13am Monday, Mr Schaefer said he received a call from a police superintendent indicating that a safe had been taken out of the building.

He said a review of the surveillance videos showed how the safe, which he said weighs between 600 and 700lbs, was rolled down the steps from his office, where it was carried out of the building and placed into a waiting car.

He said the thieves’ faces could not be seen, as they wore masks and hats to hide their identity.

However, Mr Schaefer claimed that someone has been arrested in connection with the matter. The business owner believes that someone with intimate knowledge of his operations carried out the robbery.

In April, Mr Schaeffer said that while heading to make a valued added tax (VAT) payment at a local bank, a young man in a black hooded jacket and dark sunglasses stuck an “automatic weapon” in the back of his neck, robbed him of his briefcase, then fled in a vehicle.

Prior to that, Mr Schaeffer said his security guard at Everything Must Go was “bound and gagged” by three armed robbers. They told the bound security officer that they were waiting for Mr Schaeffer’s two sons to arrive to open the store, he said.

At the time, Mr Schaeffer condemned the government for failing to implement stronger initiatives and methods to counteract and mitigate crime in the country.

Comments

bahamian242 7 years, 5 months ago

These robberies are inside JOBS!

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TruePeople 7 years, 5 months ago

Ya bey, an i thinkin the SQ company is involved

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CommonSense 7 years, 5 months ago

The Security company HAS to be involved because only they would have known that the money was still there after he called them.

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proudloudandfnm 7 years, 5 months ago

This dude always has some kind of drama.....

Always.....

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banker 7 years, 5 months ago

The guy is a marketing expert, and he did invest in the Bahamas. One should listen to the message and not the messenger. And the message is one that we all know, and choose to ignore until we get a gun pointed to our face, or our tires stolen from a locked garden shed or our car is stolen and can't be found on a small island.

This is a message for those who can hear it. First is is Schaeffer, then it will be Royal Bank, and then it will be Templeton and then it will be chaos.

Interestingly enough, when I told my extended family that I had a ticket out of this place through my employment, my uncle said "Don't let the door hit your azz on the way out!". It was an interesting comment, because of my new ability to help him financially.

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CommonSense 7 years, 5 months ago

This country always has some kind of drama. The man has been robbed how many times for the year? What do you expect for him to do? Just sit back and take it?

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TruePeople 7 years, 5 months ago

It's better in the Drahama Islands (silent H)

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Chucky 7 years, 5 months ago

Mr Schaeffer is so right, the Bahamas is over.

Wait till a couple of rich folk out west get robbed in their homes, then we will see a mass exit.

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Sickened 7 years, 5 months ago

There aren't many more middle class people left. Within the last month the number of people living in SandyPort halved. No joke. Between the Baha Mar people leaving and the American Embassy people leaving the island, the place is quiet.

A good portion of my friends (middle class) are being forced to look overseas just to support their family. There's nothing here for them to do. Many, including myself, are looking to cash out and then leave. And if we can't cash out and it gets much worse then we just walk away and leave the bank with our debt. I just hope that my kids have good memories of this place and hope that one day The Bahamas has something to offer them.

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asiseeit 7 years, 5 months ago

The amount of people that have left, are about to leave is astounding. Solid middle class people want nothing to do with this country any longer. A comment from one of them about sums it up, "The Bahamas just does not feel like a place I want my children to grow up in, it most certainly is not a place where they will have a level playing field, it just does not feel like home any longer." Thanks to the politicians this country is in solid REVERSE, we going backwards!

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The_Oracle 7 years, 5 months ago

Funny how he thinks anyone cares if he leaves, probably least of all his Bahamian front/Partner! Not saying it is right, as we need to be concerned about the decay of our country, and the exodus of Bahamian and foreigner alike. All are making plans, and moving money out. Remember Jamaica? Quite a few came here late 60's 70's with talent and whatever they could carry/sneak out! The political class do not care, as they will rule over a garbage dump of their own making and still fight to be on top! (king of the pile of ****) At this point is recovery even possible if they were all struck by lightning and saw the light? doubtful.

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TruePeople 7 years, 5 months ago

You kno you're right. Look at most of the west indies, not just JA. Guyana, Trinidad are also good examples. And the Gov't dem act like high and mighty gods when they just keep running those countries deeper into the ground (if possible). vanity of vanities, everything is vanity!

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Wideawake 7 years, 5 months ago

Job 1........fire the present government. Job 2.......re-build the Nation.

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BMW 7 years, 5 months ago

I have to agree with the people posting, what is there in this country for our children, not a damn thing!!! I have three grown children and all have a college education. Thank god they are able to live else where. They are all working and supporting themselves . I am glad that I will be able to move there as well. Judging from what I read in the newspapers it may not be long.

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tourist1001 7 years, 5 months ago

Your in the news again! http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/08/...">http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/08/...

We were looking at property on an out-island. After one visit to Nassau, my wife said NO WAY!

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TruePeople 7 years, 5 months ago

Well jah kno jhed. the wives of the world will definitely complicate attracting potential investors back to this place

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tomorrow_people 7 years, 5 months ago

I used to be angry, when I learned that my children, who were born abroad, would not be granted citizenship because of my gender. But here’s the sad and simple truth. It’s a gift. I am glad my children will not have to grow up in a horrifyingly crime riddled, blatantly corrupted, sickeningly polluted, and unapologetically misogynistic country. Why would I subject my children to this regressive society governed by people who do care about its own? They do not care if we leave, or if we stay. They just do not care.

They got theirs and the rest will be brain-washed away in time.

Strange isn’t it, when you think of the meaning of the words, ‘New Providence’ and what a stark contrast our reality is. I haven’t even zoned in on any particular issue of the day, and I don’t have to, because this government has failed us all ‘round.

You just keep dancing your dance, and shuffling your shuffle, Prime Minister, while you still have an audience, because with any real providence of our own, you will have to quit your day job.

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