MoBay business community worried after Hi-Lo heist, says Heaven
Hi-Lo’s Fairview location in St James

ST JAMES, Jamaica — President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Oral Heaven, says he and his peers have been left rattled by last week’s break-in at Hi-Lo’s Fairview location in St James.

Heaven says they will be moving to do less cash transactions in an effort to minimise their exposure to thieves.

"Yes, we are concerned, it's frightening. That Hi-Lo incident has a lot of us thinking ‘what next?’," he said in an interview with OBSERVER ONLINE.

"It is scary, it is a concern to the business community. It is a concern to the members of the Chamber, overall. It shows that these guys sit down and plan these things," he said.

On January 20, thieves gained access by drilling a hole in the rear of the building which houses a supermarket, remittance outlet, pharmacy and other businesses. They made off with an undetermined sum of cash, electronics and other valuables.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the robbery was well planned, with a stunt driver posing a distraction and noise from the vehicle masking sounds from the break-in. The robbery comes on the heels of others within Montego Bay’s business community, last year, when small supermarkets were particularly hard hit.

Heaven said his members have discussed the issue and have come up with a plan.

"I guess we'll be pushing for more point of sale transactions, less cash sales... so that criminals will know that there is no cash to get there," he told OBSERVER ONLINE.

The police investigation is ongoing, but Heaven believes it will take more than that to address the issue.

"It will require more social intervention and more work from the authorities," he stated.

"If people are afraid that when they get caught the full book of the law will be thrown at them, that will deter them," he added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy