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Homeless Man Arrested On The Eve Of Christmas Eve Charged With Stealing A Car

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A homeless man was arrested on the eve of Christmas Eve on St. Thomas and charged with stealing a car and stealing tools from a business, authorities said.

Matthew Brafford, 34, of no fixed address, was arrested about 10:45 a.m. Monday and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and third-degree burglary in two separate incidents, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Brafford was identified as the person who removed a vehicle without permission from Crown Bay, according to the VIPD.

In an unrelated matter, he was also identified in surveillance footage as one of the men who removed several tools from an unnamed St. Thomas business, VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

Bail for Brafford was set at $25,000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

This case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Any persons with information regarding this crime are urged to contact 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211, extension 5579 or Crime Stoppers USVI at 1 (800) 222-8477.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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