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VIPD: Ala Zatar Arrested Christmas Day For Stealing Cell Phone At Gas Station

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man was arrested on Christmas Day after police said he stole a mobile phone from a gas station earlier this month.

Ala Zatar, 34, was arrested about 5 p.m. on Christmas Day and charged with grand larceny, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“Zatar was positively identified as the person who stole a mobile phone at the Smart Mart Service Station on December 8,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

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

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

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 911, the CIB at 340-774-2211, extension 5610, or the paying anonymous tip line Crimestoppers USVI at 1 (800) 222-8477.

VIPD: Ala Zatar Arrested Christmas Day For Stealing Cell Phone At Gas Station

By 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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.