Crime gated community

vercetti988

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Sep 26, 2007
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Hello, I will like to know if anyone has experience any crimes lately (Year 2009) with in a gated community? (i.e. Armed robbery, home invasion, scams, etc).
 

SantiagoDR

"46"
Jan 12, 2006
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Gated community means nothing.
It's false security.

Even in the States one of my girlfriends lived in one.
She told me to call when I got there so I could be let in.

I knocked on her door and told her I was there.


Don
 

jrhartley

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Sep 10, 2008
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I dont live in gated community in Sosua...to date no crime apart from theft of oranges off the tree
 

pyratt

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Jan 14, 2007
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Take responsibility for your own security....guards can be paid off, gates can be beached, and they hinder response from police and fire brigades....that's anywhere in the world.
 

J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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I have, a couple of months ago, inquired on the RE-Forum of this board about that very issue, in specific some well known luxury neighborhoods. Besides some PM hinting a history of "hidden away" problems I found that for obvious economics many residents of such developments and especially those linked to the commercialization of properties within these neighborhoods "hold tight", in other words, don't tell and also invest quite a bit of effort and even money to assure that issues are not disseminated.
I found some worrisome reports about Casa De Campo and a few other luxury developments on the South Eastern Coast, where especially some assaults and murders have "leaked" into public domain.
If you are good at using search engines in different languages, you will find some reports and stories.

Still, I think that one has to stick to observation and logic over what some people do or don't tell.

Large gated developments spend thousands in "security" with effective results which often are not much more than window dressing (show) and may only scare away novice delinquents.
Large neighborhoods are extremely difficult to control and make safe. Interestingly enough, in some, the individual security of luxury homes is next to nil. Sure, the idea of a luxury Caribbean lifestyle does usually not include having to barricade one away like in a barrio. A residence with "open" homes oozes the impression of safety and freedom so many are prepared to pay top Dollars for.
Still, prospect buyers should never forget that this is a third world country where the vast majority of it's inhabitants struggle day in day out, for life. The "Robin Hood" syndrome is thus rampant... it seems nothing but OK for many to take a little away from those who seem to have too much and in many cases don't even seem to use it... which brings us to an other phenomenon the observer should not overlook; low occupancy within some of these neighborhoods. Some have an average occupancy rate as low as 25% (residents and short time tenants combined... if you buy to produce rental income, that's a number to ponder!). It would seem reasonable to suspect that "neighborhood watch" will be next to nonexistent in situations like these... which brings us again back to the security of each property.

I know some properties in Punta Cana as well as Casa De Campo have been implemented with advanced preventive electronic and structural security measures. Nowadays, one can do that without having to resort to unsightly steel bars around all windows, patios and entrances, especially if aspects of safety can be considered during the initial architectural design (a home can be designed to look good and offer safety or look bad ans still offer no safety at all). In other luxury developments (I won't name, you can look and rate for yourself), most properties have virtually NO physical safety (ridiculous looks, bad or interior grade exterior doors, etc), little to no surveillance or alarm and thus rely exclusively on the perceived safety from a "gated" entrance (but weak perimeter separation just meters away from the impressive gates) and patrolling guards, which are said to be warned that should they ever succumb to the obvious temptations and become the cause of problems, they will find themselves severely punished (citing examples which again hint a history).

So Vercceti, I doubt you will find yourself served a lot of juicy detailed stories here... but some reports can be found and also risks be suspected when one looks at every situation with the pink colored glass safely stashed away.
If you look at a particular development, don't be shy and talk to people in the street, make "friends" and let them share "stories" with you.

I live in a very small gated but unguarded community in Puerto Plata (city) and we have never ever had the slightest problem. But then, we have an 80% occupancy rate and the homes are laid out in a horseshoe shape with the main view on the entrance. Also, moost homes are still fortified and all have alarm (to which WE respond, even when it's always only been a false alarm).

... J-D.
 
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vercetti988

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Sep 26, 2007
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Hi J D Sauser, base on your experience living on a small gated community, what are pros and cons of living there?
 

Robert

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Gated community means nothing.
It's false security.

Even in the States one of my girlfriends lived in one.
She told me to call when I got there so I could be let in.

I knocked on her door and told her I was there.


Don
How many crimes have you heard about in Sea Horse Ranch over the past 10 years? Have you tried just walking in to Sea Horse?

What about Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana etc?

If you know of crimes, please list them here, with the sources.
 

J D Sauser

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Hi J D Sauser, base on your experience living on a small gated community, what are pros and cons of living there?
I am not sure I understand your question. Do you mean, what the advantage would be to live in a SMALL development?
IF so: Smaller developments are in general more likely to be successful from the get go on in this country. The country is riddled by large megalomaniac "proyectos" which have failed or are failing because of the lack of urbanistic foresight, planning, organization and oversight.
Small developments are more easy to build, finance and finish within a practical time frame. Usually they are sold out before they are finished and attract people LIVING in them.
Occupancy is important when we consider SAFETY. They are also easier to monitor and offer less weak points of undesired entry.
Theses are only some of the reasons why only few large luxury developments have been able to withstand the tests of time.

How many crimes have you heard about in Sea Horse Ranch over the past 10 years? Have you tried just walking in to Sea Horse?
What about Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana etc?

If you know of crimes, please list them here, with the sources.
It's certainly not something you will learn a lot about from current residents and "investors" and much less those who are linked to the commercialization of RE in those developments. It would seem logical to accept the fact that they protect the development's perceived reputation of safety and "untouchability". After all, the premium "value" of their properties depends highly on exactly that reputation.
I have been told by several ex residents of two of the developments YOU mention, that they have suffered issues and they go to such great lengths to keep a lid on any information that they even have "deals" with the Police (PN) so that it won't be made public. One owner even hinted that owners had been "asked" in no uncertain terms to keep their experienced issue quiet.
Now, you may wonder who said what exactly. But I trust you above all will understand that these sources will have asked not to be revealed.
This is why I have refrained from naming specific neighborhoods (except for Casa De Campo where I mention security and alarm systems which I find needed and helpful) and instead included some of my opinions as to what deficiencies I have observed some issues could arise from.
If you visit thoroughly some of these developments (beyond marveling at an impressive main entry gate lined by guards dressed like Swat team drill sergeants), I am sure you with your knowledge of the country, will be able to appreciate that there are obvious weaknesses in and around most large developments known on this island which can hardly effectively be covered by a brigade of "watchies", especially if one takes the situation surrounding these developments into account.
The issue here maybe is not so much gated and especially luxury developments and how safe or not they are made or kept, but the fact that they are in a sharp contrast to the country's overall living standards, which attracts a heightened risk of issues.

Anyway, here's one link to an article discussing several cases in Casa De Campo. Have you ever tried to get into Casa De Campo? I know, you and I can. ;)

Dominicanos HOY: Hechos de sangre siguen estremeciendo Casa de Campo

Now, I in no way imply that there HAS to be a similar history in the developments YOU mention. However, besides Casa De Campo probably being the largest development and also having to allow some thru traffic because of Altos De Chavon, I wonder what would make anybody think that what has happened repeatedly in Casa De Campo could not happen in some of the other gated successful developments in the country?


Do we have any posters on DR1 that live in Sea Horse Ranch, Punta Cana Village, or Cap Cana that can provide us with insight into how well security works there?

I suspect that anything that happens in those locations would normally not make it outside of their gates.
So do I.

... J-D.
 
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CFA123

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May 29, 2004
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JD,
Simply put... you're right.

There's no police blotter published by the local media. It's questionable how well records are even maintained within the departments.

In the tourist areas... break-ins, robberies, theft, murders, drownings, suicides in hotels, deaths on tours are not made big news for financial reasons. When they do make the news, it's usually a local paper and not picked up by any wire services read by most visitors or residents.

Realtors are typically going to minimize any problems... or are going to never mention them at all to a prospective client. There was a thread a year or so ago from someone on DR1 that bought a house in the hills above Sosua (La Mulatta I think) and appeared shocked to find out after moving in some of the things that had happened and the security measures they now had to consider. The realtor and seller of course had never said anything.

Back on the topic of whether gated is better or not... it just depends on the individual development & how their security is run. If the development has large expanses of unmonitored perimeter, it's simply not secure. If a development allows essentially anyone to enter through the front gate, it's not secure. This all applies to residential areas, condos, or hotels.

I know of some developments that have restaurants or hotels within them. All you have to do is drive up & say "i'm going to xyz restaurant" and bingo, you're in. At that point you have open access to any house or condo.

Some gates are opened to anyone in a car or to any gringo (while motos or Dominicans may be refused entrance).

Two developments side by side can have vastly different levels of security. And it can be difficult to tell which is which without inside knowledge of past experience and current security procedures.
 

johnny

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Feb 8, 2003
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Casa de Campo has the best and most professional security in a resort area in the country.
why there are some crimes in CDC and not in Sea horse Ranch?
SHR is a residential community, nobody who does not live there or is visiting some resident has any interest in visiting this place.
SHR has just 1 restaurant (local)
CDC has between, La Marina, Altos de Chavon and Hotel, over 30 restaurants. which are visited for tourists, local residents and visitors from all over the country.
SHR has not golf course
CDC has 4
SHR has around 200 residences
CDC has several thousands.
SHR has maybe less than 100 visitors a day (easy to control because they are visiting a resident)
CDC has thousands a day. (difficult to control, because they cant deny access to rich dominicans going to restaurans, bars, discos, lounges, all of them open to the public.)
Plus over 6,000 thousands more visitors when there is a concert in Altos de chavon.
for the reasons above, 1 or 2 crime a year in CDC is nothing, considering this is the home of the richest dominicans families and politicians. which are the target of criminals.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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People pay for peace of mind at Sea Horse and get it. No bars on the windows, kids playing and walking around, a safe community.

I have never locked a door or thought about being robbed or burgled etc on my many stays at Sea Horse. The same goes for Cap Cana or the Punta Cana Resort / Village.
No doubt true.
I'm sure they pay through the nose.

But the other 99% of retirees/expats can't afford that type of security.
 

chola1978

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Mar 20, 2006
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Bueno in Snatiaog I know for a fact that 3 gate small comunities here have suffer the norm....house roberries nad attempeted car theft.. one in los cerros, another in las tigaigas and one in Juan Pablo duarte....
in cities like santiago apratment complex are as clsoe as you will come to a gated community and we all know how safe thier lol.....
I live in a regualr community with all the bells and whisles in my house for security but yet lat January my house was broken into at 10am , and i arrived berofe Omega and the cops... que servico...
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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I have never locked a door or thought about being robbed or burgled etc on my many stays at Sea Horse. The same goes for Cap Cana or the Punta Cana Resort / Village.
Can I just point out that Punta Cana Village is not a gated community. Tortuga Bay, Corales, Arrecife and Cap Cana are. In PCV there are private security patrols but the place is not enclosed or gated. There are no fences or bars on windows and yes, unfortunately there has been the odd break-in.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Generally speaking, gated communities may be well protected against intruders but they are far from immune to inside jobs.
 

vercetti988

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Sep 26, 2007
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JD Sauser,
Sorry that my question was not clear. Yes, my question was base on what the advantage would be to live in a SMALL development. Thanks for the feedback. Also, thanks for the article since is very clear the special interest wants to hide issues like this from the public.
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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While crimes do happen in gated communities, generally speaking, they are much safer than non gated communities. Just apply common sense.

Living in a gated community with dogs in a fenced in yard, virtually guarantees no break-ins. Of course there will be exceptions but in my experience, living here since 2002, I know a lot of people who have had problems but I have not, even though neighbors have.