Manager of the Exodus Steel Orchestra Ainsworth Mohammed has condemned a break-in at the band's Tunapuna panyard in which several tools were stolen, likening the act to "a theft from God."
Speaking with Newsday on Monday, Mohammed confirmed there had been a break-in sometime on Sunday night. He said while renovations were being done at the band's Eastern Main Road panyard, several tools belonging to the contractor were stolen.
He also believed some instruments were missing, but could not confirm that up to Monday afternoon.
He said the crime was unfortunate and noted that panyards were not the usual targets for bandits, though he said, "This is the second time we had a break-in at this panyard. The last time was sometime last year. And it's strange, because you wouldn't really expect panyards to be targeted by bandits.
"We wouldn't have security like a business would, because we can't afford it, but I will have to put something temporary in place, because stealing from a panyard is like stealing from God, because we are the salt of the earth."
Newsday also spoke to acting public relations officer of Pan Trinbago Whitfield Weekes, who said he was appalled by the recent break-ins.
Weekes is also the public relations officer for the Hatters Steel Orchestra, whose San Fernando panyard was broken into last week and $200,000 worth of equipment stolen.
He described the crimes as unfortunate, given the history of steelbands in helping underprivileged communities.
"Steelbands play such an important role in the development of young people.
We do so many things in terms of training and teaching them discipline and to know these bandits are preying on these organisations is very disheartening.
"We need the police to take a closer look as to what is happening, because we are involved in a lot of initiatives that can prevent people from getting involved in crime. So to know our equipment and instruments are being stolen for people hustling is very upsetting."
Weekes said Pan Trinbago would issue a more detailed statement on the issue later this week and hoped to meet with Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe.