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-   -   St. Thomas is dangerous (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/st-thomas-is-dangerous-962511/)

Kfontaine561 Jan 17th, 2014 01:20 PM

Wow, I am considering setting up a business In St. Thomas but these posts make me nervous now being a woman traveling there. I would have to be there for about a week, taking taxis, visiting several resorts, business people, etc. I live in South Florida and we certainly are not without crime but it doesn't happen this blatantly. I have someone who lives there already who would run the business but of course would have to travel back & forth from time to time. Anyone else doing this or have done this? Suggestions?
Thanks!

brenandg Jan 17th, 2014 04:40 PM

I have friends who have lived there for 6 years now. They are currently in the Mahogany Run area. I would not take this thread to heart too much. I would not want to be on the side streets too much as anywhere in "the city" at night. I was a little leary on one taxi ride. I think you will be fine if you exercise caution.I would not have any qualms living there at all or doing business.

eastenderusvi Jan 19th, 2014 06:09 AM

kfontaine561: I would suggest that you visit vimovingcenter.com if you are considering setting up a business on St Thomas. Not from the aspect of crime, although certainly, there are alarmists on that board. Doing business in the USVI is very different from South Florida. Many people live in the VI and do all sorts of activities...

jfd213 Jan 22nd, 2014 07:30 AM

The first time I went to ST was 30 years ago. Even then the car rental agency told us to be careful of the crime and specific places we should avoid. I had a great time though. I returned about 15 years later and it was like another place. We felt unsafe the entire time there. This is like Jamaica now, don't go unless you are staying in a gated hotel complex and don't venture out unless on a guided tour. do not rent a house or condo. Its very ghetto. So different from the very close US territory Puerto Rico where there is petty crime but the population is very family oriented and great with visitors. Go there if you want to be safe and in a US territory. You can safely drive walk and eat all over this much bigger island. Just use your common sense. But ST is like Detroit on the Caribbean. Google ST USVI crime. I'm not saying anything unusual.

eastenderusvi Jan 22nd, 2014 11:59 AM

jfd: I don't know where you were on St Thomas that you thought was "ghetto". "I'm not saying anything unusual" so that makes it correct?

P.S. When you are in PR, the police have machine guns.

brenandg Jan 22nd, 2014 04:05 PM

jfd's post is ridiculous! And, he/she is basing this info on 15 years ago? I stand by my original comment!

amer_can Jan 22nd, 2014 05:15 PM

Personally I have felt less safe every year I have gone to STT. 30 times in 40 years and the last time was 2011. To get from RedHook to town you go by some areas that I would not want to walk in and from RedHook to the RC church likewise. I love the island but not the perceived hostility that you can feel on the buses, streets (even in town) and parking lots near the KMart Mall. Eastender you live there and have a different take but off islanders often see things differently. Coki is just an example of things gone awry in paradise.

Odin Jan 23rd, 2014 02:49 AM

<i>This is like Jamaica now, don't go unless you are staying in a gated hotel complex and don't venture out unless on a guided tour.</i>
I don't agree with this, at least, it's not like this in Negril. It might be in other parts.

lachase Apr 14th, 2014 03:44 PM

We went to Coki beach last fall and had a great time.It was in daylight where we enjoyed snorkeling. I don't think I would venture out at night when a lot of drinking and partying would be going on. We stayed on St. Thomas for a week and never felt unsafe. We are more early birds who love to enjoy the water and beaches and turn in early. Maybe it makes a difference if you are running around at night when perhaps more mischief goes on. I did encounter some particular store clerks (mostly female) who acted arrogant, but I try to be down to earth and friendly to everyone and mostly when I was friendly, I got a friendly response in return from the island residents we encountered. We tried to "go native" so to speak, eat local foods, shop local stores, and just "fit in", feel a part of the island as much as we could. Maybe attitude and expectations make a difference in your experience. Maybe it is a good idea to dress down and not appear flashy tempt would be thieves. Maybe it is to your benefit to greet people you meet in a friendly way, set an example of expecting to be treated well,and hopefully you will be. I personally am looking forward to visiting again. The beaches are beautiful and I think there is risk everywhere in the world these days. It takes working together to change all our attitudes and expectations. We shouldn't let fear keep us from enjoying our life adventures. To say we must stay behind gated bars and only travel on tours instead of venturing out, is only imprisoning ourselves.

diann24 Apr 15th, 2014 05:07 AM

I don't want to on "vacation" feeling like that I would rather stay home if that was the case. I am glad you enjoyed yourselves and took away from your vacation mostly positive moments.

I am wondering if that island in particular does not like being part of a US territory and resent US people going there? I think PR might as well for various reasons. Just a thought--who really knows.

lauranthalsa Apr 25th, 2014 09:19 AM

My younger sister and I just got back from St Thomas about a week ago. We spent a week there and are both under 30. We didn't have any problems at all. We always felt safe, even at Coki's beach. We didn't like Coki's beach because of the sand flies, but other wise it was fine. We went didn't really go out at night, we stayed at our hotel resort and indulged in livations there, so I can't speak for night time.

We spent quite a bit of time in Charlotte Amalie and never had an issue. The locals we're extremely kind and helpful. No where is going to perfectly safe, we can look to the news and see that even small towns are not.

I feel like as though some of the previous posts are borderline fear mongering.

nanabee May 22nd, 2014 09:59 AM

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/ne...hest-1.1434291

>>The territory (USVI) recorded 59 homicides, including six vehicular homicides, during the course of the year, amounting to an annual rate of about 56 homicides per 100,000 in population.

The territory averaged 42 homicides per 100,000 residents from 2004 to 2009. Including figures from 2010, 2011 and 2012, that average has now risen to more than 45 per 100,000 residents during the last three years.

This makes the Virgin Islands' homicide rate about 10 times higher than the U.S. average of 4.7 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011, the most recent year of data published by the FBI.

Few places in the mainland United States see more than 10 homicides per 100,000 in population, and even fewer - in fact, only two - topped a rate of 20 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011, according to the FBI data. Those were the Detroit metropolitan area, with a rate of 20.3, and the New Orleans metro area, with a rate of 23.7.

More places in Puerto Rico come closer to the V.I. homicide rate. Puerto Rico's metropolitan areas, such as Fajardo, Ponce and San Juan, saw homicide rates higher than 30 per 100,000 people in 2011, but the highest, in Fajardo, was 37.1. The overall rate for Puerto Rico in 2011 was 30.6 homicides per 100,000 people.

No state in the mainland comes close to either territory's rate. The highest rates recorded in 2011 were in Washington, D.C., at 17.5 homicides per 100,000 people, and in Louisiana, with a rate of 11.2, according to the FBI data.>>

Something to consider when saying St. Thomas' residents and tourist are safe and have no crime problems (especially homicides) when in fact it seems crime/homicides are a serious problem for many even if one isn't a victim.

nanabee May 22nd, 2014 10:01 AM

Having said that I still travel to Mexico (where drug cartels and murder rates are some of the world's highest)!! (I do stay away from Tijuana though and other places where drug cartels are working).

suze May 22nd, 2014 11:52 AM

<travel to Mexico (where drug cartels and murder rates are some of the world's highest)!!>

nanabee, that is simply NOT a true statement. At least not in relation to tourist/visitors to the country. Please don't post stuff like that about Mexico and feed into a false stereotype about safety there.

nanabee May 22nd, 2014 05:24 PM

Certain areas of Mexico have serious problems with the Mexican Mafia groups - one such area is Tijuana. There are extremely high number of homicides due to drug cartels and it is not all that safe to travel to TJ imho.

We've had cases of Americans going to TJ who have gotten caught in the crossfires and have been killed. One was a young Mex-American teen visiting his family who was killed on the street.

Last night on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain he felt it was a serious enough problem for Mexicans living with the drug cartels to highlight the problems on his show. He did mention Michoacan, Mexico City, and some other areas as problematic.

I would never not go to Mexico because of fears, but I would consider which areas I will go to.

While in Cabo a few years ago, a young Mexican kid (at Verizon) said he left Monterrey after he was stopped at a stop light and witnessed a car in front of him pull out a gun and shoot the driver in the car next to him. He felt it was drug related. He said it was bad enough for him to move and leave his family.

suze May 23rd, 2014 08:52 AM

bingo!

Most visitors planning a trip to Mexico do not spend it in the border towns. Exactly my point and objection to your generalized comment above.

Tijuana and Monterrey are both bad in this regard, I agree, but they are not places tourists would be heading in the first place.

Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, Merida, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, etc. etc. do not have and have not had any significant issues regarding tourist safety.

icedcoffee Jun 10th, 2014 11:33 PM

PhillyBob-You say that you were the chef at The Mark St. Thomas from 1990-91, and by your description, i have zero recollection of you. I was the General Manager from 1989-1991, and our chef was a flamboyant Italian from New York, not a Jewish boy from the states. Who are you?

PhillyBob1 Jun 28th, 2014 10:39 PM

I don't remember the exact months that I was at The Mark. I moved to St John in the spring of 90'..for a year,,then over to St Thomas first to Agave Terrace then to the Mark..I met Bill, the new owner/leaser who lived in Puerto Rico but worked mostly with Mark..who was the gm..We/I had a great opening and great but short run but I had issues with the owner and I left..Mark C and I are still friends..

PhillyBob1 Jun 28th, 2014 10:42 PM

Oh..I forgot icedcoffee..As far as I know, it was a gay owned and operated B&B for quite a while which eventually wented bankrupt..was vacant for a while till Bill from PR took it over. It was open for guests for a couple of months but the restaurant didn't open again till I got there..

PhillyBob1 Jun 29th, 2014 01:58 PM

Hey icedcoffee..My mistake in the year I was there..Just spoke to the old GM and he told me I came aboard in late 92'through 93". Were you there when the gay couple owned and ran it..I heard it was a fun place..Take care..Bob


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