Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Thieves take off with sound system operator's lifetime collection

Published:Thursday | September 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

Eighty-two-year-old Mark Banton, owner of London sound system the Mighty Merritone, is today heartbroken after thieves made off with his entire vinyl records collection last week.

The family, who resides in the United Kingdom, told The Gleaner, that they received a call last week Thursday when they found out thieves had broken into their residence in Enfield, St Mary, and left with more than 1,500 of Banton's most prized possessions. Jacqueline Banton, daughter of the sound system owner, said the house was unoccupied for some time, but explained that a caretaker visits daily to see to its general upkeep. It was the caretaker who discovered that the records were missing on Thursday morning after returning to find the home ransacked.

The family said reports following the break-in put two men at the scene of the crime. "We were told that two men broke into the house on Wednesday night, one was allegedly armed with a gun and they had a waiting car nearby." Banton said that after hearing the news, her father was so unsettled that he booked a flight to Jamaica almost immediately. He returned to the island on Sunday to assist in the investigations.

She explained that reports were filed with the Annotto Bay Police Station, and revealed that while the police were helpful in the earlier stages of the investigations, information has been slow in coming since. "We have not heard anything much since the initial stages and it is really sad to see that the police aren't moving with much urgency," she said. "My father loves his music and to see him cry over this situation is heartbreaking, we just want the records returned for the sheer sentimental value they hold."

The family has put up a reward for the person who returns the records, and states that they will even hire a private investigator if the need arises. "We are going to do what we can, and it's not that we do not have faith in the police's ability, but those records mean so much to us as a family that we cannot just sit back and do nothing."

Efforts to contact the Annotto Bay Police Station for a comment proved futile.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com