A number of farmers in and around Polly Ground district in Ewarton, St. Catherine, are celebrating the mob killing of a suspected thief accused of ravaging plantain farms in neighbouring communities for several years.
They told The Beacon that residents caught the man travelling with stolen plantains at Polly Ground about 1 o’clock this morning. They mobbed and beat him, resulting in his demise.
The residents said the man was caught with plantains, and a farmer already confirmed that the said fruits were stolen from his property.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) told The Beacon that its officers were alerted to the community about 4:20AM today.
It added: “The police went to the community and found the man. He was on the ground crying and moaning. They took him to the hospital, but he died.”
The JCF said the deceased is still unidentified. “He is 5 feet 8 inches tall; he is slim; he has dark complexion; and the police think that he is about in his 50s. He was wearing a black shirt and pants, and he was barefooted. He had a knapsack.”
The JCF further stated that plantains were found at the scene.
Residents, in the meantime, gave The Beacon the purported name of the deceased, but it is being withheld, pending confirmation.
A farmer, who operates in the Braham Road area, said the man escaped years ago when citizens caught him stealing.
“One time they back him up in the community, but him manage to get away. Him run. But this morning him couldn’t run. Dem caught him red-handed. Him get a nice end this morning – a lovely end. I hope dem bury him with the two bunch a plantain [they caught him carrying].”
The farmer further stated that the man stole the plantains mainly on Thursdays, and sold them at relatively low prices.
“Him tek all 18 bunches off a farm – sometimes 3 bunches, 5 bunches, six bunches. When him thief the plantains, him sell them for like $1,500 to $2,000 per bunch. It doesn’t make sense you are planting them, and the thief is coming and taking so much from you.”
The farmer also expressed glee about the killing, likening the joy to Christmas-type merriment. “This is great! This is Christmas.”
Meanwhile, a farmer in Polly Ground district said the praedial thief has stolen more than 100 bunches of plantain from his property. “Mi feel elated because now mi can sleep in mi bed at night in peace and quiet,” he further said.
The farmers stated that residents have made numerous complaints to the police, but no meaningful action was taken to apprehend the culprit.
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