Last Friday night while the heavy rain was falling over Port Vila and everyone was taking shelter indoors, a few thieves broke into the office of the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability (VSPD) located at Collardeau across the road from the Lycée Français Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.
Judith Yanhambath, VSPD Program Manager says the thieves entered the building on the western side towards the hills, by using a metal rod pull open the window frame, after entering the building it is believed that the doors were opened to let the others in.
Mrs Yanhambath says the thieves stole three laptops, include hers. Mrs Yanhambath says two of these laptops were donations from the Vanuatu Skills Partnership and the Vanuatu/Australia Justice Program.
Apart from stealing the three laptops, the thieves also stole VT4,000 cash. The program manager says the robbery was discovered by her boss on Saturday morning. To get to the cash the thieves broke into the cupboards where they took the cash and laptops.
On Saturday morning, the office was a mess. Mrs Yanhambath says a strange thing about the robbery is the fact that a lot of valuables were left alone and only the three laptops and cash were targeted. She says it is almost like those laptops were targeted.
Mrs Yanhambath says one of the stolen laptops belongs to Arthur Simrai who is the Community Engagement Officer of the VSPD. She says the laptop contains really valuable information and all future project plans.
She is now appealing to anyone out there who has any information on the stolen items to come forward and share the information, adding she doesn’t know who in their right minds would want to rob the VSPD office which helps those in need.
Mrs Yanhambath says VSPD is the only place for people living with a disability to spend time together and always feel included. She also says they have been through a lot of challenges in the past to get to where they are today and that incidents like this prevent them from moving ahead with their programs.
The VSPD office shares a common gate with the Women’s Correctional Centre on the eastern side. The main gate is usually locked around 7pm each night. The north side boarders with MP Kenneth Natapei’s yard while the best is bordered by the cliff which former government houses are located on the top, to the south lies the Vanuatu National Statistics Office and in the south west corner lies a private residence.
The window where the thieves entered is on the western side of the building, where the spotlight is not working. Since the area is gated and fenced, it is believed that the robbers entered and exited the VSPD yard through the private property on the south west corner since a little hole was seen through the fence.
The heavy rain would have been too loud for anyone in the neighbouring yards to have heard anything as most people in their correct state of mind would have been taking shelter indoors.
The Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are currently investigating the incident after they collected prints from the crime scene yesterday.