VIPD Task Force Working To Curb Burglaries

Despite an active V.I. Police Department task force on St. John, the island was hit with rash of  burglaries last week.

Between February 27 and March 5, 13 burglaries were reported on St. John from Cinnamon Bay Campground — where five cabins were hit — to Estate Fish Bay, according to the VIPD’s incident log.

Other burglaries were reported on Rock Ridge Road, in Estate Bethany, Estate Contant, and several in Estate Grunwald. Two vehicle tamperings were reported last week as well, one near the Reef Bay trail and the other near Jumbie Beach.

VIPD officials are taking measures to increase their presence, but the public needs to cooperate too, explained the department’s spokesperson Melody Rames.

“We have a burglary task force that is active right now on St. John,” said Rames. “Police are actively doing road blocks in regards to burglaries going on and doing more patrols.”

Often the crimes could have been prevented if precautions were taken, Rames added.

“Usually there are no signs of forced entry,” she said. “The doors to these homes and villas are usually left open and people just walk right in. We’re trying to really ask owners and property managers to secure the homes.”

“People should lock all doors if possible and installing alarms is a good idea too,” said Rames.

To avoid being an easy target, residents and visitors should take every precaution to secure their homes and villas.

“Usually you see these suspects have easy access to these places,” said Rames. “If you have been robbed once, and measures aren’t put into place to prevent it, it will probably happen again.”

Another problem arises when villa management companies don’t inform guests that a particular property has been burglarized in the past, Rames added.

“That is a huge problem,” she said. “Rental villa companies don’t want their guests feeling vulnerable, but they need to know to secure their homes and belongings.”

When leaving a vehicle unattended, Rames urged the public not to leave anything visible.

“Even if you leave your beach bag in the back of your car, the thieves won’t think it contains jut a towel,” said Rames. “They will think there might be something in there and they’ll break your window. Never leave anything visible and, of course, lock the vehicle.”