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Captain warns others about burglary in St. Maarten

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Dockwalk received this account from a captain whose vessel was burglarized in St. Maarten – he wishes to remain anonymous. The video shows the intruder climbing onto the vessel and taking items in the galley.

Our yacht was in a marina near Isle de Sol. The crew were asleep in the aft of the boat where a man boarded the vessel [via] the swim platform at approximately 3 a.m. wearing what looks to be a dive hood.  The chef was forward in the boat and heard [the burglar] enter, but was too frightened to investigate. [She] locked herself in bathroom.

The key was taken from an external locker hidden from plain sight, only the crew knows where it is, so the boat was being watched. No servicemen or dayworkers had been on board.

The mate awoke, due to noise on the aft deck, and went to investigate. [He] saw the fly bridge door had been breached and tried to get security, who were not present at the time. When crew investigated there was water throughout the galley and large footprints indicating where [the burglar] had been. He only hit the galley taking crew laptops and iPods.”

The captain maintains that 10 vessels in total have been burglarized. Please share anything you know about this incident or others like it.


An owner of another burglarized vessel issued this statement:

“[It] occurred Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 4 a.m. at Marina Portofino. The security guard was mysteriously missing at the same time. The crew were on board asleep and awoke to noise, hearing robbers departing. [The robber] gained access to yacht from exterior locker with hidden key. The Yacht had been watched by professionals, we suspect a set up. This is a WARNING to yacht crews across the Caribbean.”

The captain who first reported the robbery on his vessel said that he now knows of 12 other vessels that have been burglarized.
Posted by: Janine at 20/01/2011 15:12

Everyone should install lojack on their computers, if it gets stolen you report it to lojack they had a gps tracker and viola you have your culprits in the palm of your hands!
Posted by: Chef Peter Ziegelmeier at 20/01/2011 15:30

One can only advise the crew to be vigilant, and demand that security be present at all times on the docks!
Keys in obvious places are an invitation to burglars!
Posted by: Douglas King at 21/01/2011 18:58

As a business owner on St Martin, we work hard to service and please our visitors and mega yachts. It's dispicable to see this going on here on our island. It always seems like these fools never get caught either.
On behalf of many on this island, I apologize for the inconvenience to you all, and hope that the authorities take this seriously enough and put a stop to it!
Posted by: Sandra Garnier at 21/01/2011 19:11

A fun way to discourage boarders both inside or outside of the vessel is to shine a red laser on them....funny how they will leave right away. You don't have to say anything at all, just let the bright red light speak for you.......stay safe.
Posted by: Capt Ted at 21/01/2011 19:16

That's what you get for flaunting incredible wealth in front of people who have nothing. Your entertainment trinkets are going to feed this guys family. Nice job with leaving the key where he could get it. To the author: the man in the video is a burglar not an "assailant." The definition of assailant is a person who attacks another, either physically or verbally. In this case the burglar didn't get the chance to become an assailant because people hide in bathrooms or went looking for a rent-a-cop. I hope the "assailant" and his family get to enjoy a decent meal for once.
Posted by: greg s at 21/01/2011 19:34

Greg S. Unfortunately you are one of those people that see that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Theft is theft, which ever way you look at it. Some may see your lifestyle as luxurious and flaunting wealth. The shoe may just be on the other foot one day soon.

Safety in SXM has always been a bone of contention but with people boarding your place of residence it takes it to another level. Serious issues of safety now arrise. Have a look out side your own little bubble before you decide to dictate your very narrow minded thoughts.
Posted by: luke at 21/01/2011 20:28

Practice skeet shooting a few hundred yards offshore. Funny how this keeps the crooks away.
Posted by: Tom Page at 21/01/2011 20:39

Luke, I have actually been the victim of theft before. In once instance a moderately violent robbery (face punches). In all instances I thought about what happened, how I could have prevented it, and how not to make myself a target in the future. Essentially, I blamed myself and improved, which is exactly what these people should be doing. Yes, theft is theft, great observation. However rarely is a theft purely random. When you flaunt wealth AND have lax or non-existent security, what exactly do you expect? Flaunting wealth (a big part of the whole yachting world btw) is one's personal choice but if you are going to do it and leave a key out, don't make a big fuss when a few things go missing. Seriously, rather than posting a video and a reward, they should be happy that this guy showed them the carelessness of their security practice without costing them any physical harm. Surely the value of that lesson is worth more than a couple used laptops and an ipod. Maybe the guy will see their little video, and come back for revenge, smack some sense into them.
Posted by: greg s at 21/01/2011 21:55

Greg S, you seem to enjoy the fact that this boat got ripped off. How can you actually condone and support theft ??? And to top it off you think it is a good idea that this guy comes back and smacks some sense into them. People like you are the reason why criminals feel they can make this a career. Get a life !
Posted by: Stephen at 21/01/2011 22:58

THAT IS "GOLLUM" looking for his "PRECIOUS" !!! FOR SURE !
Posted by: mk at 21/01/2011 23:33

Funny thing: I read about the "assaillant" leaving size 11/12 footprints. Do you see them on the video?
Posted by: Nick at 22/01/2011 00:17

Yeah, and he must have special flippers for feet. I don't see any waterproof bag or anything else to carry all that gear out of the water. How exactly is he going to swim away? Either that or he is innocent.
Posted by: Mike at 22/01/2011 02:02

Maybe he had a boat, which had some water in it, hence leaving the footprints, I too have security footage of someone attacking my house in France, see to see him in COLOUR!
Posted by: Capt Edward P at 22/01/2011 10:34

I agree SXM isnt the ''FRIENDLY ISLAND '' it is claiming to be .

Over Christmas I purchased electronic goods from a well know major retailer in Phillipsburg , when I got back to the Miami the same computer was $300 cheaper . Not only that my credit card had 15 unauthorised withdrawals . Fortuneatly I checked my account and the bank reversed the transactions .
I had only used that card at that one shop in SXM , and hadnt used it for any purchases for the past 6 months .
BEWARE OF SAINT MARTIN the goods are no cheaper than the States , and they could hack your cards .
Posted by: Mac at 22/01/2011 11:44

To stay aware of the current piracy situation off Venezuela and general Caribbean waterfront crime , its Good practice to monitor the Caribbean Safety and Security Net on SSB frequency 8104.0 at 1215 UTC and report all events and sightings.
Posted by: junior at 23/01/2011 10:43

If he wanted to get food for his family, why is all the food left on the counter ? This calls for CSI-SXM.
Been 2x in SXM, pretty place, getting crowded, is it the next Honolulu of the carib. ? 2 choices SXM5o or The Saint of SXM.
My wife was pirated in Venezuela, even with a group of people, it is one thing to look at a video post-mortem, but it is different to look at an AK at the tip of your nose. They were not even showing off their wealth. Not even their boobies.
In these very very difficult times, this will just happen more. It is funny how words change the appreciation of things, theft, subsidies, bonuses, etc
GPS and codifications of objects will certainly help recover so precious objects. At the end of the day, common sense behavior is the first line of defence.
Posted by: michael at 23/01/2011 14:18

It never ceases to amaze how people can take situations like this and blame crime on the victim.
I don't think yacht owners flaunt their wealth when they pay stupid money to sit on a dock and suck water and shore power at extortionate rates.
As far as the crew is concerned, they certainly aren't flaunting their wealth - they're busting their butts maintaining a boat in what can only be described as a hostile environment.
No matter how much money yacht owners have there will always be a narrow-minded imp who feels those less fortunate are entitled to resort to crime for sustenance instead of honest, hard work.
As a victim of three armed attacks I can tell you NO ONE deserves it...not even a pinhead like Greg.
Posted by: Gary Carroll at 25/01/2011 16:31

To those of you that think it is alright for someone to steal because they were able to find the key, you are idiots. If this guy wants to make money from boats visiting his island he can do washdowns, clean bottoms, or paint, or varnish, drive a taxi, rent beach chairs, be a bartender or a thousand other things. If people didn't visit his island he would be worse of than he is already. His family would be eating bananas and coconuts.
Posted by: Bill at 25/01/2011 18:36

Surely the captain must realise that leaving a key in a locker that all the crew use coming home late at night is not really a smart option. On a yacht that size even if you don't have a good security system installed use a "key safe" which cost about 30 bucks where you leave your key. Anyone watching a yacht for a few hours on any given evening can soon see where a key is hidden. But if it is in a key safe with a code the key is not available to the casual observer and would be burgler. Seems a bit like the captain is putting video on this site amoung others, trying to cover his a.. for not having thought security through?? A 30 buck key safe or egg on your face? Seems a cheap investment........
Posted by: Dave at 26/01/2011 04:56

Interesting that nobody especially the captain has responded to my post. Is such a relevant and damning comment ignored?? Let's all get on the "high horse" as an experienced captain and try to cover our lack of foresight by offering rewards?? Maybe try a little foresight. Captains response welcomed... WE all know who you are
Posted by: Dave at 10/02/2011 04:50

I lived on sxm for 14 years crime is getting worse and yachts are rich so a natural target if there is a robbery in the marina you are in live with the fact you are next or move
your crew are at grater risk if you go to the clubs in maho travel in a groop and use only licences taxi services thay have taxi on the number plate
there was a preson robing cruseing yachts some years back but he was identafid and well he disaperd if you know what i mean
just renember sxm is not safe and the cops hate you
Posted by: julian at 06/06/2012 09:12

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