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beachy
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July 2, 2010 1:56 pm  

Several years ago there was an east-end stx neighborhood-type meeting at PearlB, attended by then Commissioner McCall, Doug Jones, Emmett Hansen, etc etc..and the resident's consensus at that time was that a sub-station was NOT the need out east, but more sector cars/patrols/etc was. Some folks recall years ago when there was a substation setup at the CV firehouse, and the person on duty could not leave his post, even when there was a need for a police presence in the surrounding area. All he could do was call for help...and we can do that ourselves, esp if the new 911 system is working out. What is needed is officers on patrol.... seems a better use of funds...


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Native Son
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July 2, 2010 1:58 pm  

As soon as a preponderance of local businesses "screen all customers before allowing entry" and have "armed guard in the parking area" I suspect there will be near total white flight from these islands -- which may be the intended effect of the violence.

...the sociopaths do not care if you are white, black, or purple. They do care about green, though.

It is the duty of businesses that expect large amounts of customers to protect those customers. If that means screening, then that's what should be done. Nobody stopped flying because of airport screening...better to screen than have your airplane explode, right??

Better to enclose your business and screen potential customers than have someone shoot a dozen or so customers. You have to take concrete (no pun intended) steps to avoid being a victim, and these steps usually cost money. The only thing that protects you from the criminal is a physical barrier. Any business that has been robbed, and refuses to put something physical in place to protect customers, is just asking for it.

Terry said "I don't think that the fact it is open air has much to do with it. Boogie's was robbed not to long ago. There was a robbery and murder at Pickled Greek last year. Both of these are enclosed"

...yes, they are enclosed, and that's a start. Next thing is to have armed security. An armed guard at Pickled Greek would have presented a physical barrier.


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Native Son
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July 2, 2010 2:16 pm  

A police sub-station on the north shore, in and of itself, probably won't change much. There are 2 stations on the west end and they haven't exactly created a low crime area.

The folks that frequent/live on the north shore will probably talk the most about this one 'cause this one "hits close to home." On an island this size, doesn't every crime like this hit close to home?

If we attempt to have any meaningful discussion about the exceptionally high crime rates here, The Dead Horse Society will mobilize and seek to quash the conversation by telling us that talking about crime is just "beating a dead horse."

Then the folks that live with their heads planted firmly up their backsides will seek to minimize, rationalize, justify, deny, or flat out ignore the extremely high crime rates here by telling us that "crime is everywhere" and "no place is safe."

The next person to post on this board asking about crime will be greeted with the same old tired BS that if they don't do drugs and aren't out in sketchy areas at 2AM, they'll be fine. Pure unadulterated bunk!

Then we'll all go back to chatting about pedicures, how good/bad the last meal we had was, and how pretty the sunset was. This thread will quickly disappear into the archives until the next time someone is shot or looks down the barrel of a gun and then the cycle will renew itself. This thread was quickly headed for page 2 and the crime happened less than 48 hours ago.

It's been this way since I've been following this board and I see very little to indicate that it won't continue to be this way for as long as I follow this board.

aussie...

Nobody is going to do what it takes to change anything. The only way to reduce crime is by raising people who are of good moral character.

A large number of so-called "homes" on these islands are simply incubators for beasts and demons.

Ask some politically incorrect questions like...what demographic commits the most crimes...what demographic is least likely to commit a crime...which demographic is represented the most in the local jails...

Nobody would agree to an island-wide lockdown and search for illegal wepons, but I bet it would be effective. Declare a state of emergency and get the National Guard to join the Police Dept. in doing it.

It would take austere, draconian measures to get the crime situation under control, and the hue and cry would be amazing to behold.

So we just have to live with the demons that we have created.


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aussie
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July 2, 2010 3:07 pm  

Could we maybe begin a shift in thinking and start talking about the good things that happen instead of focusing on the bad?

Um...no...request denied 😀

I understand why you want to focus on the good things though. You've either just moved here or you're in the process of moving here, right? If ya turn a blind eye to this stuff, yer world may be rocked when the starry-eyed dream of living here meets the reality of living here.

Be patient. The conversation will return to massages, pedicures and meals all too soon.


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aussie
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July 2, 2010 3:23 pm  

I love reading your comments, Native Son. You step where most people dare not tread and go right to the heart of the matter - quite refreshing!

"So we just have to live with the demons that we have created."

Hmmm....my first instinct is to offer a rebuttal to that statement but, well, I wouldn't even know where to begin....


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STXBob
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July 2, 2010 4:29 pm  

Nobody is going to do what it takes to change anything.

Most people won't do anything. Some will. Crime Stoppers USVI is a good example. That program was started and is run with the initiative of private citizens (like me) who are fed up with crime here, and they volunteer thousands of hours each year to run the program. Anybody who wants to improve things here can get involved. The people who started Crime Stoppers USVI are starting another anti-crime initiative. If you want to volunteer your time and help make a difference, contact them at http://www.crimestoppersusvi.org/contactus.aspx


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terry
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July 2, 2010 5:13 pm  

thanks for posting that sight.


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aussie
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July 2, 2010 5:42 pm  

A truly commendable effort, Bob. Please post more frequently regarding efforts and initiatives. Time is the commodity I have the least of right now but I'll contact them and see what I can do to contribute. Thanks!


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EngRMP
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July 2, 2010 7:21 pm  

I still think that a major change is coming, sparked by evolving technology... and it's not that far away:

- criminals are present because there are not adequate deterrents
- fighting guns with guns has an unacceptable element of risk, no matter what the "success" rate

- creating common knowledge of a near guarantee of irrefutable evidence against any perpetrator could be much more effective
- video capture to a website (physically recorded away from the camera location; and does not rely on local power) is the technology that makes the "guarantee of irrefutable evidence" possible.
- this technology currently exists for cell phones. It seems to me that it might be relatively simple to implement for places of business.
- once this technology is deployed, I think word will get around to criminals that the risk of capture and prosecution has gone up dramatically
- It seems to me that creates a deterrent that is far more powerful than anything else to date
- I'd be surprised if this is not already being used. I'm already surprised that we haven't heard about it (or the potential) on national news.


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Jumbie
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July 2, 2010 7:31 pm  

Other available technology that OTW and other business's could use but don't is a "panic button" (installed by ADT) behind the bar or somewhere hidden so that when robbers enter the premises, it can be pushed immediately alerting ADT to call the police.

Jumbie -STX


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brockettfamily
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July 2, 2010 9:25 pm  

I don't live down there yet so I doubt my opinion means anything, but I have lived in towns where we lived right on the river and a lake. It doesn't make a difference if the business is in an enclosed business or totally open to the elements. If a person wants to rob a business, they will do it no matter how it is set up. They will target places they know are busy and do a lot of business.

And I tend to agree with one of the other poster's on here, I would rather die fighting than sit there and be a victim. I am all for fighting if need be, but there really isn't much that can be done against a machine gun. I have been in robberies before, but not against machine guns. That is really scary!


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dntw8up
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July 2, 2010 11:46 pm  

Nobody would agree to an island-wide lockdown and search for illegal wepons, but I bet it would be effective. Declare a state of emergency and get the National Guard to join the Police Dept. in doing it.

It would take austere, draconian measures to get the crime situation under control, and the hue and cry would be amazing to behold.

I agree, except I think the local PD is part of the problem -- not that they're all corrupt, but that they're all friends or relatives of friends or relatives of thugs, and as such are pressured to pretend they don't know about a lot of crime that occurs under their collective noses. Bringing in law enforcement from the states is the only tenable means of reclaiming these islands from the thugs.


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DUN
 DUN
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July 3, 2010 12:33 am  

Nobody would agree to an island-wide lockdown and search for illegal wepons, but I bet it would be effective. Declare a state of emergency and get the National Guard to join the Police Dept. in doing it.

It would take austere, draconian measures to get the crime situation under control, and the hue and cry would be amazing to behold.

I agree, except I think the local PD is part of the problem -- not that they're all corrupt, but that they're all friends or relatives of friends or relatives of thugs, and as such are pressured to pretend they don't know about a lot of crime that occurs under their collective noses. Bringing in law enforcement from the states is the only tenable means of reclaiming these islands from the thugs.

Agreed dnt!
And if we had nearly as many working police as SUVS(I saw at least 4 today, plain cloths going into & out of these SUVs today...


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newarrival
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July 3, 2010 1:40 am  

Sadly, the VI police are not the answer. There are some incredible dedicated cops and there are some completely corrupt ones. I have had personal experience with one of each. After all our electronic possessions were stolen from our home, we were able to discover enough evidence to lead a "detective" to capture one of the criminals and recover my phone and my husband's computer from the thief as he fled through the sea plane parking lot. This police officer worked hours and hours that night and got a videotaped confession and the names of the other three perpetrators. He said he would bring them in the next day (Tuesday, and our stuff had been stolen on Saturday). It felt like a miracle, like we were getting our lives back.

This detective was then transferred from the case and no further progress was ever made. The next "detective" actively intimidated my husband and me. He would only meet with us after dark on the streets on Christiansted, he asked us if we were worried something else was going to happen. We decided to cut our losses and back off. I found out the names of the three other criminals, and one of them, Jonathan Hakim, subsequently murdered someone at the Catherine's Rest grocery store around noon 12 months later. (last fall) Too bad he wasn't in prison.

Fencing/walling a restaurant in is not the answer either. When the guys came to fingerprint our house (after we waited three hours) after our burglary, I confessed that I felt like an idiot for leaving the glass louvers slightly cranked open. They told me it's better to leave the windows open, otherwise you will also have broken glass everywhere. People who want to get in are going to get in. Having a security guard would be a deterrent, but a couple of years ago, right after we moved to the VI, I remember hearing that the guard at Tamarind Reef/Green Cay got tied up with duct tape and pistol whipped. Or was it the Buccaneer? It happened a couple of places.

No the crime in the VI is not a coincidence. There are powerful people keeping things the way they are. We moved to a gated community after our burglary and paid a ridiculous rent and felt very safe. But you have to go out. We love Off the Wall. I am so upset for Diane and Becky and Jacob as well as the customers. What a horrible feeling.

Anyway, I can relate to whoever said they wanted to talk about cheerful topics, because it seems nobody in STX likes to talk about the crime. They just wish it would go away. But many people have experienced it, and I think it is important that we talk about it. And it's important that people register to vote, write editorials, write letters, raise awareness of the situation down here. I think outside help is ultimately going to be the only solution, but maybe someday there will be a critical mass of people on island who just insist on change.


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Novanut
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July 3, 2010 1:40 am  

My 2 cents would be to hire security in the evenings at these places. I would also vote for a concealed carry law that was highly publicized so the thugs would get the picture that they weren't the only ones with guns. Read the stats from states that did it.


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dntw8up
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July 3, 2010 2:09 am  

No the crime in the VI is not a coincidence. There are powerful people keeping things the way they are.

Unfortunately.


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honey
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July 3, 2010 11:55 am  

EngRMP makes a good point about technology. Wonder if a security service that took deposits during the night would be feasible. To keep the amounts in the till low.


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SkysTheLimit
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July 3, 2010 12:20 pm  

It's called a drop safe.


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margaritagirl
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July 3, 2010 12:59 pm  

Join the group STXCrimeWatch.com

This site helps keep you informed on what is going on and I know for sure it gets the attention of the VIPD.


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aussie
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July 3, 2010 1:35 pm  

... It appears that human life is of little value here, but it is in the USVI's best fiscal interests, both in terms of tourism and in terms of local wealth, to make this a safe place to visit and live.

Perhaps. It may depend on how widely spread and how high up the crime money goes. It seems to me that the level of crime here couldn't be more optimally tweaked if it were completely orchestrated - from the bad guys' perspective, that is. The greatest opportunity comes from a constant flow of statesiders through these islands and that's exactly what we have.

If crime levels were higher, we may indeed see the "...near total white flight from these islands..." you referred to in another post. The tourists would stop swarming here and far fewer statesiders wouldn't move down.

If crime were really low here and this truly was "paradise", people would move here in droves and we'd be standing on each others shoulders. There'd be a 10-year waiting list for a place to live in these islands. But that's not the case, is it? Look at how many people have announced on this board in the last 6 months that they have just moved here or that they are on their way. There was a house/apartment/condo available for every one of them although new construction here is next to nothing. New arrivals create the greatest opportunity. They come here with their eyes wide with wonder, their hopes high, and their guard down. Folks that have been here awhile have learned hard lessons through their own experiences or through the experiences of friends. They are more mindful of where they go and when. They leave nothing in their cars, may not go to secluded locations, and are more likely to have layers of security at their homes. In other words, they are tougher targets. So, again from the bad guys' perspective, crime needs to be high enough to create a steady churn with lots of folks moving out and lots of folks moving in. Once again, that's exactly what we have.

In darker moments, I feel like the statesiders that move here are harvested like crops....


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StCroix
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July 3, 2010 5:22 pm  

If crime levels were higher, we may indeed see the "...near total white flight from these islands..." you referred to in another post. The tourists would stop swarming here and far fewer statesiders wouldn't move down.

While it's true that you might see fewer white people coming to the island if crime were "more" out of control, you'd also see more local (ie, "black") people leaving or not coming, or not coming back after college. This is exactly what has happened in many crime ridden areas... people of all colors with any kind of brains or means find a way to leave. Visit Detroit for a prime example.

If crime were really low here and this truly was "paradise", people would move here in droves and we'd be standing on each others shoulders. There'd be a 10-year waiting list for a place to live in these islands. But that's not the case, is it? Look at how many people have announced on this board in the last 6 months that they have just moved here or that they are on their way. There was a house/apartment/condo available for every one of them although new construction here is next to nothing. New arrivals create the greatest opportunity. They come here with their eyes wide with wonder, their hopes high, and their guard down. Folks that have been here awhile have learned hard lessons through their own experiences or through the experiences of friends. They are more mindful of where they go and when. They leave nothing in their cars, may not go to secluded locations, and are more likely to have layers of security at their homes. In other words, they are tougher targets. So, again from the bad guys' perspective, crime needs to be high enough to create a steady churn with lots of folks moving out and lots of folks moving in. Once again, that's exactly what we have.

While you sound sensible and seem to make a reasonable case, in fact, many of the people getting robbed or burglarized in the USVI are long-time residents. Most don't have "layers of security" as you say, and the longer you've been here, the more you tend to feel comfortable going all around the island. And if you visit Off the Wall, you will notice that it's quite a local hang out.

In darker moments, I feel like the statesiders that move here are harvested like crops....

Most crime statistics continue to tell us that the POOR are far more likely to be victims of robbery and burglary than the wealthy.

It's called a drop safe.

This is very true. The owners of these establishments could take steps to improve their security. Most don't.

I would also add "it's called a creditcard" ...carry little cash and you'll have little to lose but your dignity.

Last Comment:

I look forward to going to Off the Wall early next week. It has been a while, but I've always enjoyed their food, the wait staff and the view. Now is an excellent time to show our support for them.

But I must agree with others here... please don't bring your gun. I don't want to be in the line of fire over a cell phone and a few hundred bucks. My life is worth far more than that.


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dntw8up
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July 3, 2010 8:44 pm  

While it's true that you might see fewer white people coming to the island if crime were "more" out of control, you'd also see more local (ie, "black") people leaving or not coming, or not coming back after college.

Of the relatively few who leave the islands for college, even fewer graduate from college, and VERY few college graduates return to the VI. The folks running these islands want to keep the masses undereducated, because it makes them (and their votes) easier to control.


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aussie
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July 4, 2010 1:52 am  

While it's true that you might see fewer white people coming to the island if crime were "more" out of control, you'd also see more local (ie, "black") people leaving or not coming, or not coming back after college. This is exactly what has happened in many crime ridden areas... people of all colors with any kind of brains or means find a way to leave. Visit Detroit for a prime example.

Agreed.

While you sound sensible and seem to make a reasonable case, in fact, many of the people getting robbed or burglarized in the USVI are long-time residents. Most don't have "layers of security" as you say, and the longer you've been here, the more you tend to feel comfortable going all around the island. And if you visit Off the Wall, you will notice that it's quite a local hang out.

Oh I know all too well that the thieves steal from everyone. I was responding to dntw8up's earlier post. I've heard just too many heart-wrenching stories from Crucians and transplants alike. One story I posted a while back was when I spoke with an elderly Crucian lady. Her dog was poisoned and killed although that remains unconfirmed because she couldn't afford the tests that would prove the cause of death. The next day, her house was emptied for the third time. She said that the thieves didn't get much. They had already stolen all of her family heirlooms and electronics in the first 2 break-ins. She had spotted a pattern and knew it was going to happen again. She called the police for days. Sometimes they came. Sometimes the didn't. She called the governor and pleaded for help. Her calls went unanswered. I could go on and on with the stories people have told me.

Actually, I felt much more comfortable moving all around this island for the first year I was here. That was before the SOB's busted the glass outa my truck on 2 different occasions. The 3rd time, they tried to disable my truck by stealing the battery and cutting the battery cables so short that another battery couldn't be installed.

Yup. I know Off the Wall quite well. I'm not a regular but I've been there quite a few times.


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margaritagirl
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July 4, 2010 12:49 pm  

Went to Off The Wall last night for a drink and a sunset shot.
The place was crowded and everyone was having fun.


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roadrunner
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July 4, 2010 3:06 pm  

Went to Off The Wall last night for a drink and a sunset shot.
The place was crowded and everyone was having fun.

(tu):D(tu) Very happy to hear that!


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