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How Safe Are the Virgin Islands especially St Thomas and St Croix  

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jaldeborgh
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November 17, 2019 9:11 pm  

Wow, I’m glad you’re okay, scary story.  


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Alana33
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November 18, 2019 11:58 am  

You and your wife were so incredibly lucky to have survived that ordeal! So many ways it could've gone south!

I am surprised that the minor was only charged with burglary, not armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons, etc.

Was there any jail time for him since he was a minor?


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rotorhead
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November 18, 2019 11:06 pm  

As I understand he was charged as an adult. The three perps were 30, 20 and 15 years old.
After the initial statements following the incident there was a long period of no contact with the prosecutor. I was eventually contacted and told that everything had been pled down to burglary, we had no input into this process.  We were told the time of the sentencing hearing and asked if we wanted to testify. 
After thinking about it and being advised that the perp's family members and friends would most likely be present, and that revenge was common here, we decided to present written testimony.
We never heard from anyone again.
Welcome to paradise!

After being held at gunpoint for over 2 hours and questioned by police for 5 more, the coroner took the bodies away and the police left and all we were left with were two large pools of blood on the driveway where the bodies had been. 


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Olga12
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November 19, 2019 7:00 am  

Wow, you paint a very ugly picture of the islands.  Your last paragraph doesn't fit with those above it.  I would be long gone with what you've experienced.  I sincerely hope your experiences aren't typical for someone planning to retire on STX, says the guy who just bought a home there.


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rotorhead
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November 19, 2019 7:25 am  

They say it can happen anywhere. 

I have been in the same house for 21 years now. This happened at the 14 year point. I guess I have 7 more to go. The main thing that keeps us here is good friends.

I didn't actually have to clean up the blood on the driveway. The grapevine is strong here. Even before the police left friends started showing up. I believe that the Hanleys and Coliannis were the first. In any case, after the police left I looked over at where the bodies had been and noticed Chris Hanley had gotten a garden hose and was washing the blood away.

Friends make it hard to leave.


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jaldeborgh
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November 19, 2019 2:57 pm  
Posted by: @rotorhead

They say it can happen anywhere. 

I have been in the same house for 21 years now. This happened at the 14 year point. I guess I have 7 more to go. The main thing that keeps us here is good friends.

I didn't actually have to clean up the blood on the driveway. The grapevine is strong here. Even before the police left friends started showing up. I believe that the Hanleys and Coliannis were the first. In any case, after the police left I looked over at where the bodies had been and noticed Chris Hanley had gotten a garden hose and was washing the blood away.

Friends make it hard to leave.

I'm curious, did you grow up on St. Croix or in the Caribbean?  In some senses I would imagine as a "local" you might think this is "home" so there is a deeper attachment.  If you had moved from the somewhere far away the instinct might be stronger to run away, back to somewhere more comfortable.

That said, I agree with what you said, friends make all the difference in the world.


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rotorhead
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November 19, 2019 3:18 pm  

We moved here from the Seattle area in 1998. My wife grew up in Ponce, PR and has family there.


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NugBlazer
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November 27, 2019 3:53 pm  
Posted by: @rotorhead

My personal story. Held at gun point for over two hours.
http://www.vipd.gov.vi/Public_Interest/Press_Releases/Show_Press_Release/12-11-30/Two_Suspects_Dead_Following_Home_Invasion.aspx

Yep, you were the one I was referring to in my original post in this thread when I said, "Some of the posters in this very thread have had their houses burglarized at gunpoint."  I didn't want to out you, but I'm glad you had the courage to say it yourself, so others can hear from firsthand another person who has been victimized.  The fact that you're still here speaks to my point about how it's still worth it despite all the violence.

That said, I did not know about the aftermath.  Very sad to hear that the little prick got away with only a burglary crime.  Even worse to hear that you felt too intimidated to testify.  That corroborates exactly with my earlier comments about the islands being spectacularly corrupt.  It's just the way it is here.

But, on the other hand, the fact that Hanley and others were there right away to help shows precisely why I still love the islands, despite the violence.  That's heartwarming stuff!!


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JahRustyFerrari
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December 4, 2019 6:03 am  

Same old story every time I visit this site...same old people talking about how much crime we have on St. Croix, and how much worse it is than the States...I'm a Crucian currently living in Tampa. I worked for a time for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Anybody who believes that crime is worse in St. Croix is out of their mind. No, I don't want to hear about per capita figures. Things like 'stand your ground' murders are not counted when they make those calculations, neither are pedestrians killed by automobiles etc.  Thousands of people die each year from hospital mistakes, so you're more likely to die in a hospital than on the streets of St. Croix.  It is a retribution culture.  Don't kill anybody, and you're not likely to be killed. Don't traffic in drugs, don't raise and fight pit bulls. BTW, there was a lot of talk on the island about a certain helicopter being used to ferry drugs, which lead to a certain home invasion in search of certain funds.

I left this forum some time ago because I made a comment about research being done on targeting people by DNA, and how it would be used against a certain demographic once perfected. I received nasty comments. There are people on this planet who are immensely evil. I am more concerned about them than about street crime on St. Croix. I never felt unsafe on St. Croix, but I can't say the same for places where you can get shot for not using a turn signal.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/08/12/world-must-prepare-biological-weapons-target-ethnic-groups-based/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_fb&fbclid=IwAR1uXCCNNTyMGJliD1vywjsi1v1JnGY63RIhvH_5x3WA1UEJCjoN4NReDXU

 

This post was modified 8 months ago by JahRustyFerrari

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Lyubov
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December 4, 2019 6:37 pm  

Here are my experiences from living in STT. During the year plus I lived there, I was perfectly safe. My neighbors were either very kind, or they left me alone. Most people in the VI are nice, so don't worry that someone will be out to get you. There were a few times when I forgot to lock my door before going to bed, yet here I am alive to talk about it! Not that I advocate doing that; just saying.

I came from Philadelphia and lived in an area that was rather high in crime, so I used the same street-sense in STT that I had used in Philly: I avoided shady people and questionable-looking neighborhoods, and I never left the house at night unless my husband was with me. I was also polite to people and didn't start problems with anyone. If you use the same common sense that I did, you'll be fine.

This post was modified 8 months ago by Lyubov

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NugBlazer
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December 5, 2019 4:42 pm  
Posted by: @JahRustyFerrari

Don't kill anybody, and you're not likely to be killed.

 

Tell that to Peter Des Chardins.  Or Jamie Cocayne.  Or my friend George from St. John.  Or Jake Campen.  Or E-cliff from Culb 54.  I could do this all day.


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NugBlazer
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December 5, 2019 4:51 pm  
Posted by: @lyubov

Here are my experiences from living in STT. During the year plus I lived there, I was perfectly safe. My neighbors were either very kind, or they left me alone. Most people in the VI are nice, so don't worry that someone will be out to get you. There were a few times when I forgot to lock my door before going to bed, yet here I am alive to talk about it! Not that I advocate doing that; just saying.

I came from Philadelphia and lived in an area that was rather high in crime, so I used the same street-sense in STT that I had used in Philly: I avoided shady people and questionable-looking neighborhoods, and I never left the house at night unless my husband was with me. I was also polite to people and didn't start problems with anyone. If you use the same common sense that I did, you'll be fine.

It's great that you weren't hurt, but I'd like to point out two things:

1.  You were only here for 12 months.

2.  You never left your house at night alone.

Not exactly a livable situation for most, considering it gets dark at 6:30PM every day.  Try living here for 5 years.  Would you seriously never ever leave your house after 6:30 alone?  What kind of life would that be?  What if you were single?  What then?

I could've lived in a Taliban-ruled part of Afghanistan in 2004 and if I never left my house, sure, I'd probably have been safe, too.

My point is your story isn't really apples-to-apples compared to people who live here a long time and actually might want to leave their houses after dark.

I've said it 100 times and I'll say it again:  if you think crime in the islands is better than the states, you're deluding yourself.  It's just patently untrue.  Doesn't mean living here isn't worth it.  But, don't kid yourself.


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Lyubov
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December 5, 2019 5:45 pm  
  1. I'm not kidding myself. I didn't imply that crime was lower in the VI than it was in the States. I don't know where you're getting that, so don't put words in my mouth. All I said was that common sense and caution were my guides, as they always are. I'm sorry if you're sour about things there. You're free to leave if you haven't already.

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Steven17
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December 9, 2019 11:12 pm  
Posted by: @rotorhead

They say it can happen anywhere. 

I have been in the same house for 21 years now. This happened at the 14 year point. I guess I have 7 more to go. The main thing that keeps us here is good friends.

I didn't actually have to clean up the blood on the driveway. The grapevine is strong here. Even before the police left friends started showing up. I believe that the Hanleys and Coliannis were the first. In any case, after the police left I looked over at where the bodies had been and noticed Chris Hanley had gotten a garden hose and was washing the blood away.

Friends make it hard to leave.

   Yes, dead men tell no tales. Crime in the V.I. is statistically a huge majority of petty, drug, and Street type thug related B.S.  IE: Homicides, Murders.

     Probably GODS Will.

 

 


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Lyubov
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December 31, 2019 1:36 pm  

@jaldeborgh

I'm sorry, but it sounds as if the crime has discouraged you. 🙁


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fhpooiks
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January 2, 2020 2:48 pm  

same old story.  Majority of the crime is drug related.  Most areas are relatively safe to live.  Crime can occasionally show up anywhere.  Gated communities can help.  Stay out of the housing projects.  


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singlefin
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January 2, 2020 3:19 pm  

Like anywhere else, common sense goes a long way here.

Turn off CNN, lock up the bunker, and get outside. The world is a far more decent place than advertised.


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jaldeborgh
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January 3, 2020 10:51 pm  
Posted by: @lyubov

@jaldeborgh

I'm sorry, but it sounds as if the crime has discouraged you. 🙁

Not to worry, I’m both an optimist and adaptable so I’m only seeking to understand and learn from the experiences of others.  My opinion of the island hasn’t changed.  My wife and I are starting to build our network of friends while enjoying the lovely people, great food and weather.  We’re loving our new home as we begin to make it our own space.


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NugBlazer
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January 4, 2020 5:04 pm  
Posted by: @lyubov
  1. I'm not kidding myself. I didn't imply that crime was lower in the VI than it was in the States. I don't know where you're getting that, so don't put words in my mouth. All I said was that common sense and caution were my guides, as they always are. I'm sorry if you're sour about things there. You're free to leave if you haven't already.

Re-read what you wrote.  You started out by saying that you felt perfectly save in your 12 months here, then immediately launched into a paragraph wherein you stated that the same street-sense you used in Philly worked here.  If you think that the same actions that kept you safe in Philly will work here, you're indeed kidding yourself.  Common sense and caution aren't enough here.  They just aren't.

Also, I'm not sour, and I'm well aware that I'm free to leave, so no need for your passive-agressive comments.  Keep those in the states where they belong.


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Lyubov
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January 4, 2020 7:48 pm  

If common sense and caution aren't enough there, please tell me what is, because you apparently you have it all figured out, and I can learn from you. Also, I came to the VI with a positive attitude and to be a contributing member of society, which I was. I had a good life there until family drama forced me to come back to the States.

If you come to a place looking to start trouble, trouble is what you'll find. That applies anywhere you live.

 


 


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East Ender
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January 4, 2020 8:53 pm  

The Source just republished this 2014 article: https://stthomassource.com/content/2020/01/01/homicide-virgin-islands-young-men-dead-street/

I don't think much has changed...


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jaldeborgh
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January 6, 2020 8:44 am  

Thanks for posting the link to the crime article, the data helps me get a much better feel for my risks.  It’s interesting to see the demographics around age, gender  and time of day.  My wife being over 65 and virtually never being out after dark alone suggests she’s extremely safe.  She’s cautious by nature anyway, which should also work in her favor.  

This post was modified 7 months ago by jaldeborgh

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Brich528
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January 12, 2020 5:37 pm  

We are headed down in April to possibly shop a place to rent for awhile and then relocate to.  We aren’t retirement ready for some time.  What are the safer areas? 


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Gingeroot
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April 14, 2020 3:11 pm  

@east-ender Thanks for link! Hmmmm. Looking at this statistic, St. John is a better island to live with less murders.


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VIpirate
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April 16, 2020 12:00 pm  
Posted by: @gingeroot

@east-ender Thanks for link! Hmmmm. Looking at this statistic, St. John is a better island to live with less murders.

St. John is certainly a nice island, but has many drawbacks as well given it is the least affordable island, and doesn't have an airport which means you're on a ferry from St. Thomas every time you visit.  Also, fewer stores or healthcare available which means another ferry ride to St. Thomas.  Some people love it, but when my wife and I looked for a second home, we decided St. Thomas was way more practical for us and ticked all of the boxes.

The northside side of St. Thomas and especially in the Peterborg area has larger homes in gated neighborhoods with stunning views.  It is quite safe along with a nice sense of community while being very private and peaceful.

Like any place, common sense goes a long way in not being a victim of crime.  


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