St. Maarten Police scale up presence in Oyster Pond, St. Peters and Dutch Quarter

POSTED: 01/8/12 4:44 PM

St. Maarten – Police Chief Peter De Witte has announced that Oyster Pond, St. Peters and Dutch Quarter will see increased police presence in 2012 because of the swelling of the force’s ranks. Oyster Pond, which is described as a “picturesque marina between the Dutch and French Side”, is of particular concern because the prime tourist destination has seen a spike in the number of break-ins.
“The year 2012 will bring with it increased capacity and a sharpening of the force’s investigative skills. The special robbery unit has been very active. We also have special problems with adequate holding cells for suspects,” the police commissioner said.
The police commissioner is scaling up presence because he’s also had to deal with a break in. Thieves broke into his home last year and stole, amongst other things, his service revolver.
It’s quite traumatic and I can understand how robbery victims feel,” the police commissioner said.

De Witte’s announcement has been welcomed by a villa owner who’s been hit by five robberies over the last two months even though he’s installed advanced security equipment and changed his routines.
“The mere presence of the police will help to deter criminals who are always targeting high-end properties. We have lost electronics, jewelry, appliances, one time they drilled the safe out of the wall and it’s just getting worse,” the villa owner who asked not to be named said.
On two occasions the robberies happened while the villa was occupied and the guests were on another part of the property. The thieves made off with the guest’s laptops but the villa owner fears that something worse could have happened and the incident’s effect on the island’s reputation.

Acting Police Spokesperson Geovanni Sprott was unable to give an indication of how big a problem the police have with break-ins as department heads are still pulling together their individual statistics for 2011.
People are advised to use solid, heavy duty doors with deadbolts, secure windows with secondary locking devices, have well lit surroundings, install effective alarm systems and be a good neighbor in order to reduce the risk of being the victim of a break-in. They are also advised to engrave electronics and other valuables with their id number as this makes it easier for the police to return stolen items if thieves are caught.

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