A beach theft was discovered in Jamaica in July 2008. The beach at Coral Springs, in Jamaica’s northern parish of Trelawny, was 400 metres of white sand. The bulk of the sand in the 0.5-hectare beach, of approximately 500 truckloads, was found missing in July 2008. The beach was to form part of a resort complex, but the theft of its most important feature has led to its developers putting their plans on hold. Illegal sand mining is a problem in Jamaica; the local tradition of people building their own homes has caused a huge demand for construction material.
The disappearance of the beach was considered so important that Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding took a personal interest in the theft and ordered a report into how such a large quantity of sand could have been stolen, transported and presumably sold. Police carried out forensic tests on beaches along the coast to see if any of it matched the stolen sand. A three-month police investigation failed to lead to anyone being charged. There were unconfirmed reports about collusion between the criminals and some police officers, but Jamaican police denied any such collusion.
Beach theft in Hungary
An incident of beach theft occurred in Hungary in 2007. In this case, multiple tonnes of sand were stolen by thieves from an artificial beach created by a resort in Mindszent alongside the banks of the Tisza river. Approximately 6,000 cubic meters of sand were shipped in and lounge chairs, playground rides, and beach huts were added. Owing to the harsh Hungarian winters, the owners of the resort covered the rides with tarpaulin and closed the resort for the season in September 2007. When one of the owners drove by, they noticed that the beach was gone. Hungary’s participation in the Schengen Agreement, which allows free passage between EU member states without passport checks, was blamed for the theft by the authorities.