Opinion: Street robberies

POSTED: 10/20/11 1:56 PM

We’re not into downplaying street robberies. On the contrary, street robberies are bad for the island’s reputation, especially when the victim is a tourist. Still, we couldn’t help wondering about the New Yorker who was robbed on Front Street on Monday afternoon of a gold chain with a reported value of $1, 800.

The story reminded us a bit of German tourists that flock to the Netherlands for the Easter holiday. They come with their expensive cars and their expensive everything. They also have the rather naive habit of displaying those expensive everything’s in their car when they go shopping or dining, and they are constantly surprised to find their car broken into upon their return.

Only last week we heard of a plan some American couples came up with: they wanted to visit a local brothel. The initiator of this plan was a lady who sports a lot of gold and her brothel of choice was the Border Bar.

Fortunately this plan came to the attention of someone with a bit more St. Maarten-experience, and probably with a higher level of awareness too. Upon hearing that one of the couples intended to join the Border Bar expedition had no intention to spend a penny at the facility, all alarm bells went off. Bad idea!

At least one of the couples backed down upon hearing what their possible fate could be when visiting a notorious brothel while displaying lots of gold and planning not to spend a dime there. A crime was prevented, for sure.

The lesson for tourists? Do yourself a favor and leave your expensive gold jewelry in a safe aboard your cruise ship.

Maybe this will take some of the fun away for gold aficionados, we don’t know. And it is indeed a sad state of affairs when people have to adjust their behavior and their wish to display their favorite jewelry, because there are street robbers lurking in the shadows. But what is worse? One afternoon without your gold chain, or getting robbed by a local street punk?

We’d say that the cruise lines have a responsibility in this respect as well. They ought to advise their passengers to leave their jewelry on board, or at least to refrain from wearing it so visible that it functions as a magnet for street robbers.

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