RELIEF. Joy. Satisfaction.
These were some of the words used by a number of residents in Glencoe, west Trinidad, yesterday, following the capture of the man suspected of breaking into several households in the area recently and robbing its occupants.
But despite this sense of relief, many residents believe the series of break-ins and robberies could have been avoided had there been stricter security measures in place governing who exactly entered the community.
The Express yesterday spoke to several homeowners in Goodwood Park who all agreed that security in the community needed to be "beefed up."
"The security officers hardly ever ask anyone anything when they are coming into the community. Most of the time, you can just drive right in and that's it," said one man who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation.
This was experienced first hand by the Express. Shortly before 3 p.m., this reporter and photographer Anisto Alves drove freely into Goodwood Park without being stopped or asked our purpose there.
The homeowner said it was only recently, his daughter saw someone fitting the description of the suspect jumping a fence leading to a neighbour's yard and called the police. However, by the time the officers arrived, he said the man had already fled.
Another resident said over the past several weeks, she would keep herself locked in her home, fearful she would have become a victim to the "serial burglar".
Now, with his arrest, she said both she and the rest of her family could breathe a bit easier, knowing he was currently in custody.
She, too, agreed that had the security been more effective, the chances of the break-ins taking place could have been prevented or greatly reduced. Residents pay for their security.
"But now, he is in custody, so we are feeling a lot safer now," the resident said.
Over the past several weeks, a number of homes, including that of Congress of the People (COP) member Rocky Garcia, was broken into and robbed.
The person suspected of carrying out the robberies is a 27-year-old man who had escaped from the Port of Spain prison on Frederick Street on June 6.
He was arrested on Wednesday morning by officers of the Western Division, led by Snr Supt Ishmael David and Insp Henry Dann, close to the Fish Depot in Cocorite as he was about to board a pirogue to sail to Venezuela.
Up to yesterday evening, he remained in custody at the Four Roads Police Station and is expected to undergo a series of identification parades over the next few days, police said.