St. Maarten Police capture thief on first day of yearend controls

POSTED: 11/25/11 12:29 PM

St. Maarten – A.R.P.B. was the first person to be arrested in the police’s end of year operation – “December Offensive 2011” – which began on Thursday. The St. Maartener was arrested for stealing a Blackberry from P.J.A. on Front Street. He fled the scene in a small white car that police patrols later spotted at Sucker Garden Road #1. Police approached the car, found the suspect, searched him and arrested him after finding the stolen phone and marijuana. Both items were confiscated and the suspect is now detained at the Philipsburg police station.

The end of year controls is a yearly effort that coincides with the start of the peak tourism season and the busy Christmas and New Year holidays. The effort is aimed at increasing visibility and creating a sense of security and safety for the community and for the visitors arriving on cruise ships, mega yachts and private and commercial flights.

“This year is a new challenge for the Police Force of St. Maarten. Even though the police force is lacking in capacity (manpower), a plan has been put in place to have all areas get the necessary attention. There will definitely be an increase in the visibility of the men in blue,” Police said.

Later he’d add, “The police department is asking the general public to give the officers carrying out these controls all necessary cooperation so that they can provide the best safety for everyone.”

The Customs Department and Coast Guard have been drafted in to help with the general controls that fall under this yearend effort. The controls will take the form of foot patrols, bicycle patrols and car patrols in areas frequented by tourists. There will also be increased patrols in the neighborhoods. The Customs Department will be monitoring the harbor and airport for contraband and the coast will patrol the island’s waters.

“The police department will also be focusing on areas such as Philipsburg and the Cruise facilities where the “Gypsy” (illegal) transportation is taking place, the Boardwalk and shopping areas in Philipsburg (pulling of chains), Beacon Hill, Maho Reef, Mullet Bay and Cupe Coy for car break-ins and car thefts. Our goals are to suppress the amount of incidents taking place recently and most of all to prevent them from happening,” Henson stated in his release.

The police have also issued an early caution that they may close some of the roads in Philipsburg to accommodate shoppers. Any changes will be announced in subsequent statements. It is typical that these statements come just before Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Because of the limited parking in Philipsburg itself the police have recommended that people use the Ring road as public parking.




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