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Crime Rate

 
mctaggart99
(@mctaggart99)
New Member

My wife booked us a trip to St Thomas. All the pictures looked great, the resort looks awesome. However, as soon as I started researching the topic of crime constantly came up, particularly violent crime. I guess I want to know how safe it is for tourists. I read about a girl from a cruise ship who was caught in the crossfire of gang violence and killed. How common are violent crimes against tourists. I don't want to be in a situation like my friend's parents when the cartels shot up the restaurant they were eating in in Mazatlan. The restaurant was even in the resort where their timeshare was. I have also heard that the secluded beaches are a no go as it is prime pickings for people to get mugged and to stay out of downtown Charlotte Amalie as crime against tourists is rampant.

I would like to hear from a local perspective as I know that blogs and news stories can blow things out of proportion. However, it does alarm me to a certain extent that there are so many sites highlighting a crime epidemic on St Thomas. So there must be some truth to it.

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Topic starter Posted : January 23, 2016 8:56 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

There were some vehicles broken into while parked at some beaches on St John, recently, but haven't heard about anything else in a long time. Tourists aren't the usual target.

Most of the crime is local against local. There is very little open in Charlotte Amalie after dark, with the exception of a few restaurants on the Waterfront so no need for many people to go there.

The beach where the teenager was shot now has visible security and more businesses so it's safer now.

Relax and enjoy.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 9:17 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

You'll be just fine.
Use common sense.

The unfortunate teenager was caught in a crossfire at Coki Beach when a funeral was being held there and gang member of opposing gang showed up.
It was a tragic incident.
Majority of crime is due to turf and gang wars/retaliation, unfortunately.

Not smart to go to isolated places nor leave valuables in locked car or sitting on beach. National Park in STJ mentioned they had some cars broken into at Salt Pond. If over on STJ for the day, you can check in with them for any updates.

Leave your valuables at home, you don't really need them at the beach.

Enjoy your trip.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 9:25 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

If you are tourist her for a week or two and don't go drugging, pimping, hooking, cockfight gambling or too drunk after dark your chancees of hitting a lottery jack pot are way way better than getting killed her by gangsta bullet.

It's day to day chronic exposure to the angry bros that can get you into trouble. Just like any big city in US.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 11:46 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

In over 30 years living here I've unfortunately been the victim of violent crime twice and have known several people over the years who've been likewise affected. However, I know hundreds upon hundreds of people who've never been touched by crime and the incidences of visitors being affected is so minimal as to be hardly statistically calculable.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 11:56 pm
mctaggart99
(@mctaggart99)
New Member

All the replies so far have been helpful. What about the area where the Wyndham Resort, It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere is located?

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2016 12:02 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

The area next door is not attractive, but I haven't heard of any crime in the neighborhood. There's a fairly new food truck just before you get to the Wyndham, and supposedly they're open pretty late without incident. The resorts in that area have good security.

Most of the crime is in residential areas or in or near town, but haven't heard of anything happening in town lately, either.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 12:31 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

OP posted:
to stay out of downtown Charlotte Amalie as crime against tourists is rampant.

That is simply not a true statement.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 1:01 am
jj00802
(@jj00802)
Advanced Member

I agree with the statement .............."use Common Sense".

Charlotte Amalie is a busy downtown area full of tourists shopping and business offices during the daytime, but it is not a safe area after dark when everything is closed.

Come on vacation and just concentrate on having a good time!

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Posted : January 24, 2016 1:33 am
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

That is a bunch of crap. The crime rate in St. Thomas isn't any worse than a small town in central Florida that I also live in, which has about 15000 residents. Yes, there seems to be a bigger splash made when it happens on the Island because lets face it there aren't a lot of news worthy events happening so if a crime occurs, lets make a big deal about it like a dog with a bone, they just can't let go of it.

Yes, there are places that someone shouldn't go especially at night unless you are looking for trouble like Back Street and maybe even during some days I would stay away from there unless you are looking for a hooker, dope or a mugging. But going any where whether on an Island or a small town, always be aware of your surroundings, go in pairs and figure out which places are good to go alone or not.

Just remember, even on an Island, you still need to lock your doors. So I wouldn't let crime stop you from coming down and enjoying yourself.

mike

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Posted : January 24, 2016 10:23 pm
monogram
(@monogram)
Advanced Member

The crime rate in St. Thomas isn't any worse than a small town in central Florida that I also live in...

I find this hard to believe. Which small town in Florida has dozens of murders and hundreds of robberies/assaults per year?

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Posted : January 24, 2016 11:22 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

The incident at Coki Beach was in 2010. Millions of visitors have been here since without problems.

I am not sure why Mike has such a thing about Back Street. There are several great businesses on Back Street: Cuzzin's and My Brother's Workshop Bakery are two of them. I would stay away from Savan at night, though...

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Posted : January 25, 2016 12:40 pm
micah74
(@micah74)
New Member

Its quite difficult to filter through all of the postings here regarding crime. I am seriously considering moving to STT in the next few months and would like to have the "down low" from a long time resident. I have lived in Phoenix AZ most of my life, and currently reside near Portland OR, just so you have a reference of where I'm coming from and what I'm used to. I have read about the gang activity and car break-ins. nothing new to me. But is STT much like other states and cities? You can live in areas virtually crime free, or is it just everywhere and no escape?

Thanks

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Posted : February 2, 2016 8:45 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

There are gated communities on St Thomas. I can't remember hearing about crime in those areas. But, eventually you have to leave your community, and what happens on the street nobody has yet been able to control either here or stateside.

Bottom line if you're not a drug user and/or participating in drug activity, you should be fine.

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Posted : February 2, 2016 9:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I've been a STT resident for over 30 years and have been directly affected by crime three times - twice during the time I owned and operated a restaurant and once when I was moving and someone tried to break into the new place which was filled with boxes. The perpetrator scrambled out of a back window as I came home and he got away with a cheap watch which was on my bedside table and a set of kitchen knives in a holder which he dropped in the bush outside.

In my opinion (and I lived stateside for several years in both city and country) living here is little different from living in most other places where crime is concerned. I've never been scared to go out day or night here but neither do I potentially put myself in harm's way by frequenting "shady" areas. I've never locked my car but (I guess this would count as #4) I did have a car stolen and stripped. It was a make and model much favored by street racers looking for parts.

Don't know if that helps but that's my take!

By the way, even homes in gated communities get broken into - there was a whole rash a few years back in Peterborg!

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Posted : February 2, 2016 9:57 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Not just a few years back, but there was a rash of car break ins in past few months in Peterborg.

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Posted : February 2, 2016 10:11 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

If you want a crime free destination, do the research and find that place. There is crime here, but anybody who can read should be able to ascertain that the crime is mostly gang and drug related as is most crime in U.S.

Life is unpredictable. Get used to it. If you want guaranteed safety do not move to the U.S.V.I.

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Posted : February 2, 2016 10:28 pm
Gumbo
(@Gumbo)
Advanced Member

If you want a crime free destination, do the research and find that place. There is crime here, but anybody who can read should be able to ascertain that the crime is mostly gang and drug related as is most crime in U.S.

Life is unpredictable. Get used to it. If you want guaranteed safety do not move to the U.S.V.I.

or anywhere else

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Posted : February 2, 2016 10:46 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

If you want a crime free destination, do the research and find that place. There is crime here, but anybody who can read should be able to ascertain that the crime is mostly gang and drug related as is most crime in U.S.

Life is unpredictable. Get used to it. If you want guaranteed safety do not move to the U.S.V.I.

If you're responding to micah74 who asked a perfectly reasonable question, that comes across as very hostile. The poster wasn't looking for that elusive crime-free destination. Since you've lived here for a few years you could certainly have offered your own perspective rather than making comments about, "anybody who can read ..." and, "get used to it".

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Posted : February 2, 2016 11:23 pm
monogram
(@monogram)
Advanced Member

The VI is, by all metrics, a high crime area (notwithstanding what the apologists will tell you). News stories rarely "blow things out of proportion," as you suggested. Crime is actually underreported, as the media miss about a third of the crime that occurs (especially if the perp is related to someone important).

That being said, people move to high crime areas all the time. I have a blast in Chicago every time I'm there.

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Posted : February 3, 2016 12:36 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

West Philadelphia prepped me for STT really well. I presume STX could be a great boot camp for Southside Chicago.

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Posted : February 3, 2016 1:36 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

"If you're responding to micah74 who asked a perfectly reasonable question, that comes across as very hostile. The poster wasn't looking for that elusive crime-free destination. Since you've lived here for a few years you could certainly have offered your own perspective rather than making comments about, "anybody who can read ..." and, "get used to it"."

That is my perspective on crime. Live in a gated community if you feel vulnerable, but eventually you have to come out and random people become victims everywhere everyday. I don't take life or safety for granted, and I can't predict the future. The past is no indicator of the future when it comes to crime.

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Posted : February 3, 2016 6:30 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Just my 2¢ but as a vacationers, the chances of being a victim of crime are low. Just don't go to isolated areas/beaches and leave valuables unattended in car or on beach.

I've lived here forever and never had a car or residence broken into nor have I ever been assaulted, etc.

As others have said, the majority of crime here is gang related.
Not saying that there's no crime but your odds of not becoming a victim are good as long as you use common sense, aren't out drinking until wee hours, don't flash the bling, go looking for drugs
or frequent unsavory locations, etc.
Enjoy your vacation.

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Posted : February 3, 2016 10:55 am
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