Crime in the DR - For us Who Live Here

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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We've heard over the past while of the crime rate increasing. People are defnitely talking more about crime and I've been wondering if it is just better news coverage or is there a real increase. We've heard about the doings in the Boca Chica area, the Sosua area, and the Cabarete area. We've not heard as much about the Capital, Santiago, Puerto Plata or the smaller towns and cities.

The questions are:
Do you think we are seeing an increase in the crime rate and if so, what do you base your conclusions on?
Have you personally felt it necessary to improve your personal security, say during the past year and a half?
Are you contemplating security improvements and if so, how quickly?
Are you behaving differently while walking around in the cities and towns?
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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Personally, since I am not a night owl, I am trying to be more aware of my surroundings. Our doors are kept locked during the day, and the grandchildren have strict orders not to open for ANYBODY!:(

Dogs are always on the prowl, weapons handy, oiled, locked and loaded.

Will/might/may increase some of the security...

HB :D:D
 

canadian bob

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Jan 16, 2002
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We have always been security concious, but have been much more cautious recently. We have built two security walls and added electronic security systems. When driving, the vehicle doors are all locked. We carry powerful pepper sprays. We changed the house locks after changing maids and are considering buying a gun. While we do enjoy the DR, the increase in crime is real and we are becoming aprehensive as to the future of tourism. Look what has happened in Jamaica... Canadian Bob.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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I keep my doors locked, never invite street people into my house. I repair most of my things at home. If I need a repairman, I generally take my items to them or employ a person who is friends with the owners.
I don't have a maid. In essence, no one knows what I have inside the house. When I travel I take my expensive stuff to my friend's house.
I generally invite people to my house who are my friends and better off than I am financially. They wouldn't need anything from my house.
AZB
 

GringoCArlos

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Jan 9, 2002
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I live in Gazcue, and we are seeing a big jump in axxholes trying to steal cars. We have Multi-Lock, but different people have tried about 4 times this year to break into the car. The last time was last week, when 4 moes pulled up at 1:30 am, with a toolbox to work with, and began trying to get in, until the watchyman shined his flashlight at them, and then banged on the building to scare them off.

Thieves succeeded once, and took the only thing in the car that was unsecured, a small folding case with 2 CD's in it. Neighbors report the same happening there. And this is with multiple watchymen on our street, so I don't think the two dots are connected.

I bought home insurance. The car is insured against theft. I change the locks if the maid leaves her job. I watch the street if I wake up at night, and sometimes go out to make sure the watchy isn't sleeping. I'm contemplating a shotgun. A big shotgun, with 00 buckshot or deerslugs.
 

Simon & Nicky

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Feb 3, 2004
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I've changed too...

I think it's more to do with the responsibility for the welfare of my young family, but now I'm locked down and fully loaded. In three years I've gone from never understanding the use of weapons to a fully tooled up trigger happy son-of-a-bitch. If someone tries to break into my house, then they can expect trouble.

Go ahead punk make my day.
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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We live in an exceedingly safe area. But we keep our doors locked during the day (of course at night) and have security lights, lighting up the outside. The neighbors (retired military) have the dogs, as we travel and cannot take care of dogs on an ongoing basis. The question of really buying a weapon comes up every 2nd month or so. Up to now, we have not done it, basically because I cannot buy the weapon of my choice legally.

If we pull the car out of the garage, we check around the neighborhood and we are alert until the doors are locked again.

Walking in the streets, we have just about zero money on us on no flashy watches or jewellery. My husband has changed his wallet habit to a few bills stuck into the front pocket and shirt pocket. My purse has changed to a few bills stuck into a pocket and at most, a laptop case, under my arm. Our laptops travel with us now all the time and we do not leave them in the car. We have root passwords on our laptops that will take much time to break even if you know how.

Our neighborhood has a crime watch (presidente drinking, lots of talking and chatting and nobody really stays awake but nevertheless)...

Some months ago, after a theft of a computer when we left a door open for just a little while, we jacked up the 'iron' around windows and doors.

The neighbor has a cool weapon and leaves off a couple of shots every 3rd night or so.... His front gate is decorated with shotgun shells. I hope this protects us also. ;)

We are more cautious and more aware.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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After the horse bolted

Our condominio is semi-open, and is in the process of tightening up security. A couple of months ago one of the neighbours was car-jacked at gunpoint in the car park at midday when she arrived home from the supermarket. Her jeepeta and large grocery shopping were taken. As a result, the neighbours finally came up with the cash to install a proper gate.:rolleyes:

I'm much more aware of the risk of having my bag snatched in the street. I'm much more on my guard when I walk around - make sure the bag is held firmly and away from the curb. I keep on thinking I must take all but the absolutely essential out of my bag - only take my credit card if I intend to use it, only carry the cash I need, photocopies of all documents, etc. If I have to withdraw a large-ish amount of money from the bank, I get Mr C or someone to accompany me.

When I go out walking in Parque Mirador I don't take my cellphone, watch, wedding ring or other trinkets. Just my house key if no one's going to be home when I get back.

I've always driven nondescript cars because I don't feel comfortable displaying wealth in a country like this. A six-year old Fiat in need of a wash gets you across town as quickly as a gleaming Merc or a Cayenne, and I don't have a stroke at the thought of someone denting or scraping it. It has the added bonus of minimising unwanted attention from thieves.

This is mostly based on the fact that more things are happening to people I know, or situations that I've witnessed (like the guy who was shot in the supermarket car park a year ago when he tried to steal a jeepeta at gunpoint) as opposed to what I read in the papers. Maybe this is not much more statistically accurate than one of NALs' DR1 polls, but I take as a reflection of the increasing crime rate.
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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Chirimoya said:
Maybe this is not much more statistically accurate than one of NALs' DR1 polls, but I take as a reflection of the increasing crime rate.
A dab hand at statistics can prove or disprove most things. What cannot be discounted though, is if people take action around their own personal safety perimeter. That speaks loudly. Lots of words can go into the issue, but action speaks.

I am wondering if people are taking action, or just speaking about it. Lets give it a little time and hear from more people.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Crime Is On The Increase.

Okay, we are all in agreement except for Rocky. I say inform newcomers of this problem and assist them to make good choices in where they live and how they go about securing themselves. We don't want these newbies to have a bad experience and leave the country having failed to make it to round two. Crime is a problem here. Now let us do what we can to secure ourselves.

Hi Powered Mace - Where do you get this at?
 
G

gary short

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I'll take precautions to ensure my safety when I move down but for God's sake to I have to drive a Fiat???
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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OK, I'm going to be pedantic or pedagogic or something on this thread...

The questions are:
Do you think we are seeing an increase in the crime rate and if so, what do you base your conclusions on?
Have you personally felt it necessary to improve your personal security, say during the past year and a half?
Are you contemplating security improvements and if so, how quickly?
Are you behaving differently while walking around in the cities and towns?

;) No, you don't have to drive a fiat ... how about 6 year old japanese corolla, zips across town on the smell of diesel.. or a 10 year old Montero.. sucks down the gas like a, well, I won't say it....
 

A.Hidalgo

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Apr 28, 2006
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I don't live in paradise but my mother does and I visit often. My question is how much of an impact individuals that are sent back to the island after commiting crimes in the states have on the crime level that all have spoken about. Are these individuals monitored once they go back by the authorities? Any figures on how many are sent back annualy?
 

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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Action speaks, Chris, I hear you. My own Condominium,which is located near a bus stop and close to the center of town (parque Independencia) of course sees a lot of traffic of the wrong sort, and the fact that the people who live here are too cheap to cough up for a real watchman means that we are vulnerable. Plus the front area was dark for a long time, and the kids from all over used to come over and party. So I got ****ed and started making changes: you would be surprised what good lighting can do to discourage people from hanging out or planning robberies. If a place looks easy, it will encourage burglars and other sorts, but if it looks like a chore, then they are less likely to make the attempt. It took me a long time to convince my neighbors of this simple fact (learned from decades of lving in NYC through its worst and best decades). But now they listen. We still lack things, but I hope to make more changes as time goes by. Good lighting, an obvious security presence, etc. all help to discourage thieves. but car jackings and other more violent crimes are on the rise as well and are harder to prevent. This is the new thing, in my view, the aggressiveness of the crime, the violence that now accompanies or propels the crime. I think that there is a recklessness or desperation that wasnt present so much before.

That said, I still dont live as though I were embattled or endangered. I take the usual precautions and I dont let it make me paranoid. If we have to live as though we were in a besieged fort than we arent really living anymore. Course, it so happens that the govt drug czar lives in my condominium so we have an armed militar on hand 24/7, and that helps somewhat!

Gringocarlos: whcih part of Gazcue do you live in, it appears we are neighbors. Tell me, is your parking lot the open variety or does the condo keep a gate shut on it? Ours is open and has prompted me to consider whether keeping a car there would be a good idea (though I am of Chiri's thinking and would not keep anything expensive there).
 

Celt202

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May 22, 2004
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My building in Santo Tap?n (AKA Santo Domingo) has a gated parking lot and two porteros. The day man is very conscientious and reliable but the night man is not very responsible. He is being laid off and we have hired a security company to provide an armed guard for the night shift. I'm the only American in the building. Most of the tenants are Dominican with a number of Italians and Spaniards. All the Dominicans I know in the building are adamant that crime is much worse than it used to be. They were born here. They would know.
 

canadian bob

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Jan 16, 2002
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Hi Snuffy! I have seen it for sale in Radioshack in the new mall in Santiago, but I "imported" mine. Mine is for protection against bears & will disable a bear at 10 feet with a powerful jet...It certainly would stop a ladrone in his tracks. Canadian Bob.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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gary short said:
I'll take precautions to ensure my safety when I move down but for God's sake to I have to drive a Fiat???
I wouldn't recommend it, as it happens. My little Fiat has its merits, like good ground clearance (for a small car) and astonishingly nifty accelleration that leaves its more macho counterparts standing when the lights change to green :cheeky:, but it's not as fuel efficient as you'd expect a small, manual car to be. Also, it's dwarfed by most other road users, which makes me conscious of how vulnerable it would be in a serious accident.

Theres a limit to how inconspicuous you look when you're obviously foreign, but a nondescript car helps.
 

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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Are the crimes

Chris said:
We've heard over the past while of the crime rate increasing. People are defnitely talking more about crime and I've been wondering if it is just better news coverage or is there a real increase. We've heard about the doings in the Boca Chica area, the Sosua area, and the Cabarete area. We've not heard as much about the Capital, Santiago, Puerto Plata or the smaller towns and cities.
primarily against ex-pats? Certainly, they would be more of a target because of their possessions and all of the responses that I have read so far (security measures) are nothing more than one would take if living in any major city in the U.S. So I guess part of the point here is that somewhere in the past ----(? )years one could leave their doors open, no lock on the car, exposed handbag, etc.? So why do think today the situation has changed to this more aggresive style of crime.

Secondly, with 800,00 people in the capitol why do you think "we have not heard as much about the Capitol" as the OP suggests?

JOHN
 
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