Copper Bandits should be tried for HIGH TREASON and made examples before the country


Nassau, BahamasBahamas Press is disgusted by the crime of HIGH TREASON committed by two BEC employees this week. We believe here is a case where members of the press should follow to the end reassuring the society criminals who intend to disrupt the stability of this country would not get away with crime.

Robert Johnson, 57 years old and Joseph Rigby 43, was brought before a magistrate court on Thursday for the crime of theft. The pair pleaded not guilty.

On September 2nd, court dockets revealed, the men conspired together and removed 150 ft of copper wiring at the ZNS South Beach station in broad daylight. The bandits were bold and brazen enough to ride and park at the facility in a BEC company vehicle and made good with the copper valued at more than $90,000. This is the third of such attacks at the ZNS facility.

The incident, we believe, has tipped the disgust of residents, who are boiling at the surge of crime in the Bahamas. Of late bandits have made a mockery of the system of justice, toppling it like an apple cart into the streets, amputating its legs and sending the country into chaos.

Johnson and Rigby we believe did not just steal copper, they like terrorist disrupted important communications throughout the country. We have seen similar occurring by bandits in BEC and BTC before, cutting off the lines of communications and thus disrupting the smooth functioning of the State. These and similar acts of aggression against a country cannot be accepted and any right-thinking judge should deliver the ultimate penalty for such egregious acts.

We cannot live in a society where criminals can ransack the offices of Government, threaten public servants, trip down Senior Justices, shoot-up the home of police officers, burn down and shatter public building including the courts, kidnap commissioners and raid the cookie jar of $200,000 worth of taxpayers money and then have bail hearings after committing such treasonous acts.

Bahamas Press believes law officers should seek the ultimate against the pair. We also believe they should not only go after Johnson and Rigby for their alleged crimes but also pursue and arrest the persons/companies connected to the purchase of the copper who also would have aided the bandits in their crime by receiving items stolen from the State.

Both men are said to have a bail hearing on the morning of September 14th. We believe bail should be denied as the men have committed acts of aggression against a functioning democratic society. In our eyes they are terrorists who have come dressed in public servant uniforms to terrorize the Bahamas. What are we telling the world when men can disrupt the communications of the Bahamas and walk free on bail? But more importantly, what are we telling our children who continue to witnesses this ‘classroom of lawlessness’ reoccurring over and over again?



  1. While this matter is a very serious one, I feel really sad for these men that at their age (probably even grandparents) they are caught up in such mess. Their actions say alot about how small their minds must be to believe that such action was ok.
    I can’t imagine that going to jail at near 60 would be fun – or even imagine the level of financial difficulty that these breadwinners now put their innocent families in in such an economic time as this.
    I do hope that other Bahamians who do similar illegal/stealing hoping not to get caught would open their eyes, because the little that they gain will cost them more in the longrun.
    While I do feel sorry for these men, in addition to jailtime, I think these men need to pay for the damage that was done… seize assets inclusive of pension plans. The message needs to be clear, that this is unacceptable!

  2. Tiefin’ copper seems to be a Bahamian hobby! Can’t leave nothing round your yard with a scrap of will disappear! And some of the people tiefin’ the copper are big time Christians! I truly believe that most of the tiefin’ in this country is being done by people who really don’t NEED to tief; they just GREEDY! Who can be sorry for two STUPID men who had a secure job, yet they let greed cause them to break the law! Probably why all these BEC generators breakin’ down all over the place..The copper parts get tiefed!

    An example should be made out of these men.


    The people who is committing these crimes are bahamians and secondly look how many times the revalent attorities and the media stress the crime situation in this country.
    People have ears but same not to hear, people have eyes but same not to see.

    Who ever had reported this matter should be congratulated for a job well done.

    So bahamians the people who are committing these crimes could be the same set who are working daily ,dressedd in uniform and are paid by us bahamians.
    What do you think is wrong with some of these people?
    Have a well paid job but still not satified…………

    Lord only you can correct the criminal minds of these people.


  4. The Watchman says:
    September 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    The Attorney General’s office should do research to determine the most severe charges that can be possibly brought against these fellows, the core of which should be reckless endangerment of life and property of Family Island residents especially who rely on ZNS 1 for potentially life saving instructions especially during Hurricane Season.

    The Attorney general should try for a maximum sentence (not excluding LIFE ) and then follow the strategy of many of the murders on Death Row…by stretching,,,delaying…prolific filings etc. which could last over a period of maybe 20 years after the Government has exhausted all appeals.

    This may seem Draconian…but it is definitely less cruel than what these people have done to people in the Family Islands, who rely on Community announcements and possibly lifesaving weather alerts before going out to sea on a fishing trip.



  5. PLEASE tell me: What will cost the overburdened taxpayer more? The theft of $1400.00 worth of copper or the giveaway of BTC (a national treasure)to Cable & Wireless? It is a monumental ripoff and a crime against the bahamian taxpayer, aided & abetted by our uncaring, deal-making,palm-greasing government. No wonder when Shane Gibson asked the question about the Cable & Wireless deal in the HOA yesterday, HAI quickly jumped to his feet to ensure the idiotic Member responsible for BTC did not have a chance to disclose any details about the deal.

  6. I dont think it’s logical to pursue a charge of treason for the theft of copper. That doesnt make any sense to me. That isnt even heinous. This is a case of stealing simpliciter.

    I think that to consider the theft of copper to be treason is a real stretch, but even more so do I consider it ridiculous to consider this a capital offense. I think death would be an entirely disproportionate penalty for stealing copper. When we prosecute persons for crimes I think that the crown should be mindful of this basic Benthamic principle as well as of the facts of the case at hand. A dispassionate view should be taken of the facts not an emotional one.

  7. Honestly, I agree. I think that I should stop reading this site. I am agreeing too much.

    I am lost for words, what was these working men thinking, what was the motivation, what did they intend to gain.

    This is so sad.

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