Posted By: Katie Valk
Crime and how its handled - 01/16/14 05:59 PM
FYI, Josh Berman, last author for Moon Hand Guide to Belize is being told by too many friends and visitors and colleagues that crime on both cayes is at unacceptable levels. Guests are reporting that they feel the hotels and police are involved, police asking for $ to take police reports, intruders entering rooms with keys. I know we are all fed up with this and everyone has done their bit and might be exhausted or feel helpless. I'm hearing more crime stories than usual as well.
Posted By: Maya House
Re: Crime and how its handled - 01/16/14 08:37 PM
We were first hand victims of that exact scenario last month, and it was more than horrific. So bad, we've considered selling never to return. By virtue of the fact we've spent 15 years making living and retiring here go from a dream to a reality, that statement doesn't come lightly.
In addition to that, we have heard SO many complaints this year, more than I ever had. More complaints than complements this year, and many first time (and return) visitors indicating they didn't have plans to come back. Again, that's been a first for us. We're accustomed to visitors asking how we've found it possible to live here, and that they would love to do the same. Not this year. Have talked to folks that came down for the first time, looking to invest, and they walked away with no intention of doing so.
IMHO, it has been very bad on many levels this year. We're desperate to try and be part of the solution.
Posted By: Katie Valk
Re: Crime and how its handled - 01/17/14 12:05 PM
On Josh Berman's FB page. You would know if actual crime is up or not. I know chatter about crime is up. See below and this posting follows:
My colleague just returned from vacation in Belize -- said he was robbed in his hotel room on Caye Caulker (he woke up, chased the guy out), and he heard many similar stories of petty theft on the island. Has there been more of a problem lately?
Joshua Berman somebody else just wrote and reported this about security on ambergris caye: "San Pedro has been awful lately - lots of break ins. A few at hotels and more home invasions - my apartment last month and my next door neighbors a few months before. My friend was just attacked a couple days ago. In the last two years, my laptop was stolen from a hotel room, my iPhone lifted from jaguars and a robber in my home. It's honestly scaring me - I rent a golf cart monthly when I'm home as I don't feel safe walking anymore - even have pepper spray for the drive home."
Posting this so you know whats being discussed and giving you the heads up
Posted By: Phil
Re: Crime and how its handled - 01/17/14 01:01 PM
Ironic. While there's still an issue on the Caye - I guess there always will be as crime is never going to disappear as it's an easy option for the lazy: everywhere - I think it is massively improved on last couple of years.
Posted By: ScubaLdy
Re: Crime and how its handled - 01/17/14 11:43 PM
One of my workmen who lives in San Mateo had his house burglarized several nights ago. He got a call yesterday that the police had some goods that may be his and he had to go to the station to ID them. Lucky him! They were his. He can't get them back until next week but we are all happy that the police did their job.
Harriet, in regards to your worker getting his stuff back. I have found that its better to NOT prosecute if you can get your stuff back. I have been broken into 3 times. Twice they got the stuff back. One time was on Caye Caulker (October 2012)in which the police are lazy and useless and CAN BE BOUGHT OFF. I got lucky, a village council worker caught a well known crackchead thief, he confessed and went straight to jail, via the magistrates court in San Pedro. He gave up the information about who he sold the suff to. The two women who lied and lied and lied until they couldn't lie anymore (my neighbors) regarding trafficking in the stolen goods, were charged. We were never told to come to court, the case was called several times and I was never informed of a court date. And then the evidence disappeared. So not only did they get off scott free, I lost my stuff. 20/20 hindsight tells me that I should just get my stuff back and forget about prosecuting if this happens again. So, your worker is doing the smart thing and just getting his stuff back. The other 2 break ins, we got everything back, but had to drop the case to do it. When we got the stuff back, it looked like the police on the mainland had used it for parties and such because the stereo was all scratched up and the CDs had fingerprints all over them. Anyhow. You live and you learn. Does this deter me from wanting to live here. No. You know its going to happen eventually, you have to be prepared for it. But then again, I am from Detroit, so actually, they should be afraid of ME! LOL! So the 3rd break in was on the mainland, and it was me and the machete and the alarm system.
Even though what Joshua Berman is saying is alarming, and he's sounding the warning bell. Its true. The place that his friend was staying at was Tropical Paradise. So even places that don't have a bad reputation for break ins, are having problems. The owners have to fix it themselves, because we all know very well that the police are not a lot of help here. Most of them are corrupt and the few honest ones are so overworked and exhausted and discouraged.
Posted By: TravelinMan1
Re: Crime and how its handled - 01/27/14 10:42 AM
I agree with Phil. We will never eliminate crime but things have improved over the past year at least. Most resorts and hotels have taken the steps needed to protect guests and the town center is getting better.
I want to mention that although it is a pain in the behind and involves a lot of BS pressing charges is always your best bet. Not doing so will just push the problem on the next poor soul.
More people being caught and more preventive measures is what we are seeing on Ambergris Caye.