DATE: 2018-05-19 17:00 Country Name: Dominica Location Detail: Prince Rupert Bay PAYS moorings EVENT: Burglary HAND: 1 Stolen Items: No stolen items SECURED: Locked DETAILS: A monohull was 1 of about 9 yachts on PAYS moorings in the bay. When the owners returned to their boat at 1700 HRS they discovered a man inside their boat. He had broken the lock to gain access and rummaged the saloon and cabins in an apparent search for cash (there was none). He jumped overboard as they approached and claimed that he had not taken anything (TRUE) and that there was another man onboard (UNTRUE). The owners called PAYS on VHF and they came to the area ashore and recognized the man, but did not detain him as they believed he had a knife.
The next day PAYS took one of the owners ashore to meet with the police at a nearby restaurant (that had also had an incident of some sort that the police were investigating). The police did not visit or take any evidence from the yacht, and the PAYS rep named the man to the police. No follow-up information from the police or PAYS has been provided to the victims.
DATE: 2017-03-15 15:45 Country Name: Grenada Location Detail: Grenada Clarkes Court Bay Marina EVENT: Burglary HAND: 1 Stolen Items: Sliding door lock set, refrigeration gauges and equipment, saltwater fishing equipment, dive bcd and regulator, beer, kitchen knives, and misc small items SECURED: Locked DETAILS: Owners returned to their yacht which had been stored on the hard for several months. They discovered that the entire lockset on the sliding door to their catamaran was missing, and that the boat had been ransacked. A variety of items (tools,dive gear,fishing gear, etc.) were missing and empty beer bottles littered the salon table. It is impossible to remove the lockset without first opening with the key, and there was a deep scratch near the door. This was reported to the boatyard manager who indicated the key they had was secure and that he did not believe yard personnel were involved.
CSSN NOTE: This report was received more than a year after the theft occurred. It is included in our records for completeness.
DATE: 2018-03-01 00:00 Country Name: Panama Location Detail: Isla Grande EVENT: Burglary HAND: 1 Stolen Items: 8HP Yamaha SECURED: Locked DETAILS: Thief broke into locked yacht and stole a stored 8 HP Yamaha outboard
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.
September 15, 2017 – UPDATED report, multiple break-ins/thefts in Prickly Bay, Grenada
CSSN has received a first-hand report from one of the victims and we have updated the original report. Important details have been added, see the updated report here. Some additional information has become available about other affected yachts, but remains third hand and incomplete. Those victims, or anyone with knowledge of events are encouraged to contact CSSN.