A St. John Crime Story

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Tradewinds

I was reading The Tradewinds and noticed that there is a robbery on St. John almost every day! They are listed like a daily calendar of events along with the assaults, vehicle crashes and other crimes that happened the week before that edition of the paper comes out. I guess I’ll be in next week’s…

We were robbed again. Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, May 17, someone climbed onto the porch of our apartment on Centerline Road just outside of Cruz Bay, opened the sliding doors and stole my backpack and my husband’s cell phone. I had my wallet, new MP3 player and cell phone in that pack. We were asleep in the next room with the air conditioner running. The perpetrator just opened the locks on our front door from the inside and went out. My husband awoke at 2 a.m., realized we were robbed and went to the police station in Cruz Bay to report the theft. The officer on duty was asleep at the desk and when awoken, called the squad car patrolling the area and sent him to our place. All he did was wave a flashlight into a few trashcans near the apartment.

On Friday May 19, when my husband went to the Cruz Bay Police Station to get a copy of the theft report, he found that my backpack had been turned into the police sans wallet and no effort was made by them to return it to me even though it was described in the report sitting on the desk next to the pack. There also was a receipt with our name and address listed on the top inside the pack. My husband was told that items turned in at the station are held there a week and then disposed of.

My friends tell me I should be glad I am alive. I have nothing of value left. If this is a spiritual cleansing I have been completely overhauled. I just wanted to jump into the sea and swim to Puerto Rico. I don’t feel safe here anymore.

The Monday after Easter in 2005 we were robbed at around 1 in the afternoon, along with our neighbors upstairs and the 4 other houses on our block in Chocolate Hole. During that episode all my gold jewelry was stolen along with my engagement ring. We waited 2 hours for the police to arrive to write up the incident. They were actually able to lift fingerprints from the door that the thief accessed our apartment with. We never heard a thing about it.

Almost everyone I know has been robbed or knows of people who have been, from tourists staying in villas to residents. The manager of our property, Scenic Properties, had 3 break-ins in his rental property behind Islandia Real Estate. Barry Dill told me of the 2 break-ins in the properties around where he is living. Kristi Hanson told me last week of the break-in at her place a few months ago which resulted in the loss of her roommate’s three thousand dollars and her boyfriend’s backpack, laptop, money, passport and plane tickets. Paco, a co-manager of Caribbean Villas told us last week of an attempted break-in at one of his villas.

Where are those “Law and Order” detective types that can go undercover, set up these thieves and nab them in the act? Is St. John going to have to become an island of gated communities with security guards to stop the crime?

We warn customers visiting our business to be careful.

All I can do is help make people aware of this dangerous situation and realize that we must take whatever precautions we can as individuals and not fall into a false sense of security.

A policemen came into my store May 20, with my stolen wallet sans money. He saw my driver’s license in the wallet with my picture and he recognized me. He has seen me many times during his patrols of Cruz Bay and had been at my house in Chocolate Hole after the first robbery. He told me that the wallet had been turned in at the station. A marvelous piece of detective work.

Rachelle
4 and 1/2-year resident and business owner on St. John