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Trip Report I got robbed in St Maarten - St Martin on the French side

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I have visited St Maarten/St Martin in the past and had absolutely no difficulties. When I visited in the past the area seemed completely safe. However, that has now changed.

We rented a Jeep Wrangler to go touring around the Island. We are staying in the Dutch side, but traveled to the French side. We were visiting the various beaches and happened upon Le Galion Beach. Keep in mind this was in broad daylight at around 4pm. We drove up to the edge of the beach and it seemed like there were people around. There was absolutely no hint as to what was to happen next.

All of a sudden 2 young Black teenagers jumped us. One of them had a revolver and was waving it around. They grabbed our bags and phones than took off on a motorscooter which was waiting not too far behind. We went to the local police or what they call the Gendarmerie. They took detailed reports from us. They showed me 23 young black teenagers who they said were "known" for this type of thing. They also told me there had been 5 similar incidents in that area in the last 30 days alone.

We got back to the resort area which we are staying at on the Dutch side. Driving back at night through the French side was a white knuckle experience. We drove past many youths who looked similar to the ones who took our stuff congregating on the streets. We told the resort security and they gave us a new room as our keys had been taken. The people at the resort were very kind and cool about the incident giving us a much better room than when we had before. I cant complain about the treatment I received at the resort.

I did some internet searching "St Martin robberies" and found out there is a crime wave on St Martin. Its mostly on the French side, but its been leaking into the Dutch side. The crime wave seems to involve young Black men living on the French side. They wait for tourists in popular places than pounce upon them in lightning fast strong arm robberies. Another type of robbery is where they break into the rental vehicle. In one news article, a man was left with just a tank-top and pajamas as his only belongings left. In a few news articles people were actually hurt or killed during the robberies. I was told about one robbery where the entire rental car was stolen in a type of car jacking.

When you travel anywhere outside of your country of citizenship, do not bring anything you cant afford to lose. Ladies, leave your handbags and valuables at home. Prepare as if you will be robbed and dont make it easier.

St Martin is a wonderful scenic place. However, safety seems to be a huge issue. There are a number of career bandits waiting for you on the French side of the island and leaking into the Dutch side. So my suggestion is to avoid St Martin and go to places like Aruba or Cancun.

Thanks to all for reading this. I do not post on these forums and thought I would sign in today to post my experiences. Please respect and listen to my words so that it doesnt happen to you. If you do go to St Martin, please take every precaution. Leave the valuables at home. Dont take anything you cant lose and certainly do not walk around St Martin with lots of cash. In regards to your passport, leave that back at the hotel. Carry around photocopies of it.

Thanks again.

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