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August 17, 2022
Thief beats watchman and makes off with solar panels at the Argyle International Airport

Three solar panels have been stolen from the solar farm at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) and the watchman at the site was reportedly beaten by the thief.

This information was provided by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves as he spoke on NBC Radio on Wednesday, August 17.

Gonsalves said the three solar panels were removed from their location at the AIA, on Tuesday August 16.

According to the Prime Minister, on Tuesday, someone in a jeep went to the solar farm and stole the panels.

The said jeep was also reportedly seen in the area on February 29 this year.

Government is now expanding the solar farm at Argyle, with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The Prime Minister said during the incident on Tuesday, the watchman, one Mr Ashton was beaten and received cuts on his hands and face and had to be treated at the Stubbs polyclinic.

The matter was also reported to the Stubbs Police Station and investigations are ongoing.

“It could have been worse for him,” Gonsalves said as he commented about the watchman’s condition.

He also noted that the cost of each of the stolen solar panel is about EC$1,400.

Government is attempting to harvest solar energy at Argyle to help reduce the high electricity cost at the airport.

We borrow the money from the CDB to cut down on the cost of electricity out at AIA…to do solar, to do renewable energy, because the electricity bill is very big out at AIA and you gone to thief three of the panels,” Gonsalves said on Wednesday.

Officers from the Stubbs Police Station have already visited the scene.

Gonsalves however stressed “we need to catch this culprit.”

Calling this action “wutless and badminded” the prime minister further noted that there are persons who also tamper with, or steal equipment placed at locations to monitor the activities of the La Soufriere volcano.