By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICE have confirmed that three boys were taken in Thursday’s abduction — not two as officers initially reported.
Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash did not clarify why police did not reveal that a third child was involved, but told The Tribune on Friday that all the boys are relatives. Two of them are eight years old and the third is ten.
This means that four boys were taken and released, unharmed, in two separate incidents within a 24-hour period — and that there have been six reported incidents of children being abducted in less than three weeks.
Five of these incidents involved boys and alleged female perpetrators. CSP Cash told The Tribune that police suspect these incidents are connected.
He noted officers do not have anyone in custody yet but underscored this matter is a “deep concern” for police, noting the children are being left “traumatised”.
He added police do not yet understand the perpetrator’s motive or intent but noted the majority of victims are boys between the ages of eight and ten years old.
Regarding Thursday’s incident, police initially said two boys, aged eight and ten, were walking on Kool Acres Road in east New Providence when “they were picked up by a female who was the lone occupant” of a dark-coloured vehicle.
CSP Cash said on Friday: “What actually happened is that three kids were on their way home from school, a car pulled up alongside them asking them if they wished for a ride.
“After they refused the ride, the lady insisted that she would give them a ride. The three kids, they got in the vehicle, when they got near the Haitian Village, the lady allowed two of the boys out and she kept one.”
CSP Cash said police believe the boys are family members. The two eight-year-olds were initially dropped off by a Haitian village in the vicinity of Seabreeze and Joe Farrington Road.
The ten-year-old was dropped off later by the city dump. The boys were gone for roughly two hours, CSP Cash said.
This account again deviates from the initial police report released on Thursday evening, which said a “short time” after the abduction, the ten-year-old was returned to Kool Acres, which is off Fox Hill Road, while the younger boy was dropped off near the entrance to the dump.
When asked if the children have provided any details about their encounters with the woman, CSP Cash said: “I can say that the matter last (Thursday) night, there were some specific instructions given to the kid, and nothing to harm him, but for them to go in a particular area.
“All of this information we are compiling and analysing and hopefully we will be in a better position to say to the media exactly who we are looking for, (who) is suspected of committing these offences.”
“No, we don’t have anyone in custody, we don’t have anyone in custody as yet,” CSP Cash continued. “But hopefully we’ll be more conclusive as to who we are looking for in these particular matters.
“It appears that as if they’re looking at a particular age grouping of these kids, most of our victims are between eight and 10…male persons. Because these kids are left abandoned, unharmed physically, they’re traumatised a bit.
“We don’t really understand the intent of the person based on that behaviour and also we don’t know the motive behind them taking these kids from the streets and just abandoning them.”
CSP Cash also called for the public’s assistance in identifying the perpetrator or perpetrators by the recent sketch circulated of the suspect. He also reiterated previous calls for parents to supervise their children and requested that neighbours watch out for youth who are walking through various areas.
“But we have already engaged all our resources available to go on the ground and see how much information they can get from communities and also to prevent other incidents from happening,” he added.
The day before, March 6, eight-year-old Tyvon Deveaux was abducted by a lone female driver in a silver-coloured Japanese-model vehicle. He was later dropped off by the entrance to the dump on Tonique Williams Darling Highway.
On February 16, three-year-old Shavar Bain was abducted from outside his home and then left frightened and alone outside a Fox Hill washhouse several hours later, sparking a manhunt for two women believed to be the abductors.
On March 3, an eight-year-old girl was abducted from her home by an alleged male perpetrator. She was discovered walking in the area of Woodlawn Gardens a short time after the abduction by a passer-by and taken to the Wulff Road Police Station.
CSP Cash noted these children were taken from different zones in New Providence, so while not one particular community is being singled out, he noted the perpetrators are “targeting a certain age”.
When asked if he has any concerns that this disturbing trend will continue, CSP Cash told The Tribune: “Every matter is a concern to us, especially when you’re dealing with kids. It is a very, very deep concern to us, kids being removed from their place of comfort and left abandoned in areas deserted. So that is a concern to us. We again, like I said, we have all resources on the ground trying to canvass all these areas and hopefully we’ll be able to capture this person.”