Thieves broke into the provisional Falmouth Craft Market on Sunday night, reportedly looting all the stalls.
The thieves gained access to each craft shop by slicing the plastic covering or the tarpaulin covers and crawling through. According to one vendor, “every stall got their cut.”
Vendors reported losing clothing, hats and craft items.
One of the vendors was very distraught, because apart from being robbed, the thieves defecated on one of her dresses and left it in her shop.
The criminals were so brazen, they left items of old clothing in some of the shops. These were clothing of young boys, but someone pointed out that it could be a decoy.
If there is any silver lining, it is the fact that none of the vendors reported being cleaned out. Even those with small stocks reported only some being taken. One woman had a set of ten identical carvings. Four were taken and she was left with six. If anything, it seems they decided to take from each shop.
There is no idea as to the exact monetary value of the entire stock that was lost.
The Falmouth Craft vendors have been struggling for a home for years, ever since ships began calling at the pier. They have been taken to several different temporary locations.
It has been announced that they will soon be housed in a permanent home in a renovated old Hampden Wharf building.
From The Gleaner:
After an anxious six-year wait, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) says that vendors in Falmouth, Trelawny, are poised to get the promised craft market, which is key to the expansion of their various businesses, by mid-October (2017).
According to PAJ official Mervis Edghill, his organisation is now carrying out construction work at the designated site in the hope that the stalls and shops will be ready ahead of the upcoming winter tourist season.
“We are in the process of constructing a market, which will have 15 stalls and eight shops,” said Edghill. “The sizes of stalls will be approximately 2.5 metres each. The total cost is set at $40 million.”
While the vendors in Falmouth, Trelawny, are generally happy about the stalls in the craft market that is under construction, some are not pleased with the size, saying that they are far too small to accommodate their goods.
“The stalls are much too small and cannot hold our items,” said Kayan McGlashan, an established craft trader in the town. “I welcome the idea of a craft market in Falmouth, but the size stalls is not what was promised to us.”
However, in responding to the concerns about the size of the stalls, Gager (Falmouth Mayor) suggested to the traders that they should not try to display all of the items at the same time.
“Put out what can be adequately displayed, and when you get visitors, you inform them of what other items you have,” said Gager. “You just have to work with what you have.”
The craft traders have had a long-running dispute with the Trelawny Municipal Corporation since they were removed from their previous Coopers Pen location, which was required for the construction and expansion of a hotel.
So, the struggle continues for Falmouth craft vendors. They seem to be getting shafted by both the authorities as well as the common man (criminals).
The vendors are asking the authorities to secure the current temporary location.
Anyone having any information that can aid the investigation is asked to contact the Falmouth police at 954-3222.