DATE: 2016-12-17 19:00 Country Name: SVG Location Detail: St. Vincent Wallilabou EVENT: Burglary

CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2016-12-17 19:00
Country Name: SVG
Location Detail: St. Vincent Wallilabou
EVENT: Burglary
HAND: 1
Stolen Items: Cash, electronics (tablets, phones), fishing gear, knives, flashlight, clothes
SECURED: Locked
DETAILS: A family of experienced bareboat charterers anchored their monohull in Wallilabou, SVG and went ashore for dinner at the Anchorage Hotel Restaurant. They were aware and concerned about the brutal assault/murder of a German charterer and the subsequent lack of any arrest/prosecution in that bay in March 2016. They reviewed the 2015/2016 17th edition cruise guide provided by their charter company, and believed that the author’s comment “The bay has had a reputation for occasional thievery, but it is hoped that a new security system, including video cameras monitored by the coast guard and security guards with flashlights, will put paid to that when anchored off the Wallilabou Anchorage Hotel.” They assumed the security system had been put in place.

They enjoyed dinner ashore and had a full view of the boat from the restaurant. At 8PM when they returned to the boat, however, they discovered that the locked yacht had been burgled. A forward hatch had been damaged to gain entry. The thieves had thoroughly searched/ransacked all the cabins, lockers and luggage. They found and stole all the hidden cash and personal electronics. They also stole fishing gear, clothing, knives and flashlights.

The victims contacted the restaurant, who called the police. Three officers arrived in casual clothes and looked around. They took no notes, pictures or any forensic evidence whatsoever, but claimed they would investigate. The victims provided a list of the stolen items and a signed written statement. The officers promised to send the written declaration to the headquarters of the criminal police department in the capital city of Kingstown. They advised that the only way for the victims to get any written confirmation of this case would require the victims to personally visit Kingstown police HQ.

The victims arranged transportation to Kingstown police HQ the next day. There the officers immediately tried to send them away, but the victims insisted and they took their statement (again) in exchange for a $100 ECD fee. Despite repeated requests the police refused to provide a receipt for this payment. They also refused to provide any written confirmation of receipt of the report. The victims used a cell phone to take a picture of their written statement, and a letter they had written to the SVG Chief of Police. The victims were told that an official written report could be picked up in a couple of weeks. Because they planned to have returned to Europe in that timeframe the victims asked that the formal report be sent by email, which the police promised to do. The victims have had NO contact from SVG police or any SVG officials, despite many repeated requests and attempts to contact the responsible persons both by email and telephone.

CSSN NOTE: Over a year later, the victims decided it was important to tell their story. The business owners and others had implored them NOT to make any public report, and the police had ignored their report and failed to do anything but take their $100 ECD. They did not observe any patrols or video surveillance, those too an empty promise. CSSN has now updated our database to include this report. Sadly, actions to suppress reporting of crimes is too common by those with economic interests, leaving the larger cruising community unaware and at increased risk. The victims in this case want others to know not only about the misleading information presented in the cruise guide, and the self-serving pleas of the local business interests to not make any information public, but also the disregard of the police and other officials to take any action, including simply providing the paid for and promised written report. Timely and complete reports are easy to make, use the CSSN online reporting form. Reporting – it’s everyone’s responsibility. Take a few minutes to review a recently published article published in Caribbean Compass on this important topic.

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