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

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

Sep 3rd, 2014, 01:48 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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I got robbed in St Maarten - St Martin on the French side

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.
stmartintraveler is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 07:34 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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How horrible for you. That must have been frightening.
topeater is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 08:10 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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That's awful. Would have ruined my trip, for sure.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:59 AM
  #4  
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I have traveled throughout the world and, thus, very savvy about these things. I dont carry around my passport, but color copies of my passport. I carry around only as much cash as I need and one credit cards. All of this is stored in a well concealed moneybelt. I also place a little cash and a spare credit card in my shoe for emergencies. I wear a 10 dollar pair of sunglasses, cheap sneakers and an old Casio G-Shock watch.

However, my companion was not so wise. She had $600 in her Coach bag along with other goodies. $400 pair of sunglasses. Her passport which will cost $110 to replace. Basically, she was carrying around a "sack of loot".

Wherever you go whether it be Italy or the Carribean or anywhere for that matter, always act as if you are going to be robbed at some point. Only take the bare essentials. As for digital camera, try to avoid taking the fancy expensive DSLR and opt for something a bit cheaper unless you have a very liberal insurance policy on that gear.

In the hotel room, also play it safe. When you leave the hotel room make sure everything is put away. Hide all valuables and important documents in the room or put it in the safe. Secure everything the best you can in the hotel room.

NEVER leave anything in the car. The car is not a safe place for belongings at all for any length of time. The thieves around here can easily pop locks and trunks.

So remember, wherever you go, play it safe. Expect to be robbed. Dont bring anything you cant afford to lose.
stmartintraveler is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 11:01 AM
  #5  
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Let me add I will not consider St Martin as a destination in the short term. What I experienced, saw and heard about the place makes me believe they have a crime wave right now. It is not safe for travelers. I would choose Aruba over St Martin.
stmartintraveler is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 12:15 PM
  #6  
 
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Never leave anything in a rental car anywhere.
Odin is offline  
Sep 4th, 2014, 10:51 AM
  #7  
WWK
 
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How scary! I am so sorry this happened to you (!), but the reality is that these kinds of crimes are becoming much more common all over the world. I don't think Aruba- or any other destination- is necessarily any better or worse than St. Martin.
WWK is offline  
Sep 4th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #8  
 
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Good words of wisdom.

Shame it's the new world we live in, these words should be used everywhere!

Sorry it happened to you
blamona is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 04:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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It's in areas that have higher populations. The response by the police is a joke compared to USA. Nassau is terrible but the out islands which are far less populated have little of these crime issues. I'm a boater and many areas in the Caribbean have seen security become a bigger and bigger issue. A few months ago an English couple anchored off St. Lucia were boarded by 3 thugs and while they robbed them the 63 year old man was killed while trying to protect his wife. I just won't go to these areas until the situation becomes safer. I'll limit my cruising to the out islands of the Bahamas and the east coast of the USA and Canada.
jrs1958 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 05:21 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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We go to st Martin on the French side every year but we stay at the popular beach areas. I've never even heard of Le galion and don't want to go off the main paths like orient bay, Anse marcel, Friars bay, and all the other popular ones. Not to say it won't happen but that can happen anywhere.
donw is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 07:26 PM
  #11  
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The horrible thing is I posted my experience on Tripadvisor and the postings were all removed. This is a very real and negative experience I had in St Martin. I will never go back again.

I have never experienced a gun in my face and being robbed of all my possesions until St Martin. There are other places to go which are safer like Turks and Cacos. Im not going back to the Caribbean again for at least 2-3 years. If I go back I will only visit the safest islands. I encourage you to do google searches of all locations before you go. Any signs of crime cross it off the list. Its not worth having this horrible memory.
stmartintraveler is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #12  
 
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That is so awful that Trip Advisor removed your posts. Smells like they are getting paid by the tourist bureau in St Maarten and are buckling to pressure. Your post read like a real person having experience a real assault. I don't doubt it at all. it is just plain wrong that Trip Advisor would remove your posts and makes me very skeptical of their operation.

I'm glad all your lost were your belongings. Safe travels from this point forward.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Nov 9th, 2014, 07:20 AM
  #13  
 
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sorry this happened to you and thanks for posting. Trip Advisor is set up so that just a couple of clicks and a post or thread is gone...it is not even moderated unless a major complaint is set up. There is a group over at TA that protects SXM at all costs and gets rid of any negative postings but only after they basically say the poster was lying and it was his fault. I suspect that this group are owners of rental property or hotels and can't have this kind of story come out. I won't go there again after being robbed at the Grand Case Beach Club...from the room. Frankly Grand Case is a scary place these days.
Lois2 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2014, 06:45 AM
  #14  
 
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I am also sorry this happened. I don't agree with WWW. I know this can happen anywhere, but Aruba is a safer island so I feel. I own a timeshare in Aruba and we traded and went to SXM last July. We were fine, but I was always on guard and told by other owners where to go and not go. I would be hesitant to return to SXM. When we rented our car in SXM he asked us please to not lock it, don't bring valuable for he didn't want his car broken into--he said just don't lock it at all. Leave nothing in your car.
diann24 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2015, 10:47 AM
  #15  
 
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Hello as expressed by all the other individuals responding to this posting it was a shame to hear you were robbed on vacation. However, I have been to Sint Maarten for the past few years and have yet to encounter any issues but a good time and friendlier people than any other Island we have visited.
But I have done my reading and as one individual responding suggested do not travel with anything you are unwilling to part with at a moments no
Ddarkness21 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2015, 11:09 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Hello, as expressed by all the other individuals responding to this posting it was a shame to hear you were robbed while on vacation. However, I have been to Sint Maarten for the past few years and have yet to encounter any issues but a good time and friendlier people than any other Island our group have visited in the Caribbean.
But I have done my reading and as one individual responding suggested do not travel with anything you are unwilling to part with at a moments notice. But I must admit travelling to Sint Maarten has been nothing but pleasurable thus far and I will continue to take the necessary precaution when travelling not only to Sint Maarten but anywhere in the world.
Here are a couple of travel tips I have used and numerous other precautions are posted on other sites as well.
. If driving photo copy your license and keep the original in your safe
. Only carry the funds you require for that day if carrying cash
. Only use credit cards and interact in reputable establishment or restaurants frequently visited while on the Island
. We travel as a group which may explain why we have yet to encounter any issue
. When renting a car and checking over the vehicle besides taking picture from all angles of any prior damages do so as a group or at least 2 individuals that can verify these same damages upon return of the car to the rental agency

These 5 rules are what I travel by and try to remember that other sites have additional recommendations as well.

Good Travelling
Ddarkness21 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2015, 06:40 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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we are in St Martin right now, at Grand Case. Very friendly island so far, but there are warnings about crime from the locals. Our rental company told us not to leave car unlocked, they could steal the spare tire. It seems easy to stay on the beaten path here, and I doubt there are much worries with that.
glenncz is offline  

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