Craft vendor robbed of $200,000 worth of hats
A St Catherine man, who makes and sells straw hats, claims that he was robbed of more than $200,000 worth of goods while he was leaving the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial Food Show on the weekend.
He is pleading to the driver of the taxi who fled with the goods to return them to the May Pen Police Station as he has invested heavily in this stock.
After spending more than 30 years making straw hats and bead necklaces, Melton Brown decided that he wanted something tangible like a car to show for his work.
Subsequently, the 54-year-old decided to invest a huge portion of his savings into purchasing material and plaited straws creatively into various styles of hats every day for the past year to make the number of hats he believed would put him in a position to buy a car.
But his dream is now hanging in the balance after more than half of his goods went missing as he made his way home from the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial Food Show on the weekend.
THINGS WERE SLOW
"I normally go to Denbigh every year and sell, so I said I would start there. And even though things were slow, I made 50-odd thousand dollars, so that was just the beginning," Brown said. "I know I could sell them over the next few months, so I was still satisfied."
But at around 6 p.m. on the final day of the agricultural show, the crowd had dissipated and Brown wanted to make his way back to his home in Linstead, St Catherine.
"A man asked mi if I want a taxi, and I said yes. I didn't know he was a loader man until after the driver start drive," Brown said. "So after we reach May Pen, I realised that one of the bags were missing, so I told the driver that I was going back to the Denbigh to look for the loader man because he was the only one who go inna the trunk."
Brown said that after he combed through Denbigh looking for the man who had assisted him earlier, he went to the police post in Denbigh to report the matter.
"I asked the driver to wait on me, and mi go tell the police what happened, and when mi come out, mi nuh see the car," Brown said.
Determined to get back his goods, Brown spent the night roaming the streets of May Pen searching for the taxi.
"I look and look, and all now me nuh see the car," Brown said.
Brown showed THE STAR a receipt to confirm that he had indeed reported the incident to the police.
"Is a lot of time mi spend on them and a whole lot of money. Mi can't let it go like this," Brown said.
He is appealing to the driver of the taxi to return the goods to the May Pen Police Station.