Is it just me?

baileyboy

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I have been reading the threads, and it seems lately more and more people are posting about robberies, and theft in the DR?

Is it just me or is it happening more and more? Or is it just that people are posting about it more and more?

I've always felt safe when I go to the DR, and after reading about the threads here, and about some incidents that I know have happened to people who are Dominicans, I am wondering if it really is safe?

I know, I know, use common sense when travelling. My husband is Dominican and always takes me to "safe" places. I don't go anywhere without him. But I am starting to get nervous even being at his apartment b/c it seems theives don't care whether you are home or not, to break in. And that is what scares me, god only knows what could happen?

Is it just me, or is living in the DR becoming more dangerous?

Lisa
 

El Tigre

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I visited the DR about 7 times last year. I have never experienced any of this (knock on wood). I'm always about town hanging out late at night and all. I do however hear these stories all the time but they don't stop me from doing my thing. I always tell people never go out alone. Always go out in groups and don't hang out in "hot" barrios or "hot" areas where you know there is a lot of "tigueraje".
 

Rocky

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baileyboy said:
Is it just me or is it happening more and more? Or is it just that people are posting about it more and more?


Is it just me, or is living in the DR becoming more dangerous?

Lisa
I am convinced that nothing has changed, worth mentioning.
We have a venue to intercommunicate, that we did not have before.
If anything, we are making it harder to be a thief in this country, as we watch each other's backs, and share advice on security.
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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Rocky said:
I am convinced that nothing has changed, worth mentioning.
We have a venue to intercommunicate, that we did not have before.
If anything, we are making it harder to be a thief in this country, as we watch each other's backs, and share advice on security.
That may be true in Sosua, where it appears the ex-pats are taking up an armed resistance. (I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek).

It appears to me that the criminals are getting bolder and crime is becoming more rampant.

Here's another report of mutiple incidents of violence in today's DR1 news:

Police blotter
A community leader from the Cristo Rey barrio of Santo Domingo was shot and killed while sitting in front of his house. Franklin Perez Berroa was shot seven times from a vehicle that stopped on the street just outside his house. According to local reports, Perez Berroa was a community leader who would not allow criminals to operate in his neighborhood. The police are investigating the case and hope to have a report shortly.
The magistrate at the Third Court of Instruction for Santo Domingo province ordered coercion measures against the two people accused in the fraud case involving RD$8 million in spare parts for OMSA buses. Juan Isidro Contreras and Roberto de Jesus Genere Almanzar are accused of "irregularities" in the purchase of spare parts for the buses serving Santo Domingo and Santiago. Both men were granted bail, but are prevented from leaving the country and must report to the prosecutor every Friday.
The district attorney for Santo Domingo has requested remand for the accused killer of Estaneslao Genao Madera who was shot five times while in his car. Francisco Almonte Diaz was accused of the crime because the businessman had denied his request for a loan. After his arrest, Almonte told police that he and Genao Madera had both been at the Bayona Cockfighting Club and that they left together in Genao's car. The police also arrested Almonte's girlfriend, seizing RD$99,000 taken from Genao in the process.
Catalino Rodriguez was killed for "reasons of passion" according to a police source, but further comments were not forthcoming, and the police continue to investigate the case.
In Tamayo, Baoruco province, a man who had killed another man during a knife fight was killed by an angry mob. The victim of the mob, Carlos Silfa Pena, 30, killed Francis Vargas Reyes, 18, during an argument in the Hato Nuevo neighborhood in Tamayo. According to police reports, Silfa Pena had blunt trauma wounds as well as penetrating wounds inflicted by the crowd in vengeance for the young man's death.
PLD congressional spokesperson Elias Serulle had his SUV stolen from the parking lot at Los Prados Country Club yesterday. It is a red Mitsubishi with the official license plate O 2300.
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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I, as a resident, hear more often about robberies etc than say compared to a year or 2 back.
More common you hear about theifs on pasolas, pocket theft etc.
I cannot though, say that I hear more about robberies into peoples homes than before. At least were I live, this is very, very uncommon.
 

Rocky

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Crime has changed throughout the years, here, and everywhere else, but as to it increasing, I do not believe it is the case.
I have lived here for 15 years, of which the first 8, I worked all over the country, mostly dealing with Dominicans.
Furthermore, as I operated the largest fruit & vegetable outlet on the North coast of this country, I had a lot of contact with the expats in this area and was privy to more information than most.
I have seen and been a victim of crime, almost from day one, since moving here.
I truly believe that there is no more crime than before.
It is different now, specially with the advent of crack cocaine, but it is no more dangerous than before, maybe even safer.
Although few people take the police seriously, they are one heck of a lot more serious than they used to be.
I have seen crimes resolved, lately, that there wasn't a prayer in heaven of solving, 10 years ago.
As far as I am concerned, a litlle bit of crime is too much crime and I do & will do everything I can do help prevent it, but this is not the question at hand.
The OP wonders if there is more crime now than there used to be, and what we have here is not more crime, it's more coverage, greater reporting, and DR1 linking us all up throughout the country.
That is the real change.
 

helpmann

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May 18, 2004
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Napoleonic Code?

In reference to the Napoleonic Code, when a person is accused of a crime, is the de facto presumption of guilt still in place in the Dominican Republic?

-Helpmann :ermm:
 

Rocky

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helpmann said:
In reference to the Napoleonic Code, when a person is accused of a crime, is the de facto presumption of guilt still in place in the Dominican Republic?

-Helpmann :ermm:
Yes & no.
The law has changed, but it is not fully implemented.
 

canadian bob

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Thieves have always taken advantage whenever and wherever they can. They are oportunistic, often skilled and well aware that even if they are caught and put in jail, after three days they will be turned out on the street again unless charges are laid through a lawyer. Tourists who rent for a few weeks are much more likely to be targeted than those in all-inclusive resorts, where security is more prevalent. It is likely that the maids pass the word as to what is in the house or appartment. Cash/credit cards/passports/jewellery are the priorities, followed by inverters and suchlike which can be easily transported. Tourists are unlikely to bother hiring a lawyer, or even calling the police, who are not held in high regard. With the advent of Dominican jailbirds in the USA being repatriated, the increase in crime is inevitable. It is up to all "strangers" here to be cautious and careful to avoid being robbed. Times have changed and will not get better, both here and elsewhere. Canadian Bob.
 

Squat

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Jan 1, 2002
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I think there?s more crime down here. I think there?s more of that "get rich or dye trying" mentality.
It?s true in Santiago, it?s true in touristic areas such as Las Terrenas, and it seems to be true in Puerto Plata as well.
But then, there?s more crime in the whole world, there?s more violence and resentment... Take a look at the ambiance in France !
Welcome to the jungle, it?s 2006 !!!
 

helpmann

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Bad News...

Rocky said:
Yes & no.
The law has changed, but it is not fully implemented.
Well, that's very bad news. Innocent before being proven guilty may work in the United States and other developed countries, but it's NOT going to work in the third world. Tourists are going to get robbed blind, if criminals know they can avoid prosecution if they just lay low long enough (3-10 day tourist vacation.)

-Helpmann :(
 

macocael

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With all due respect to Rocky, whose experience here counts for a lot and whose explanation of the problem, or its perception,should be carefully considered, I do think in fact that crime is worse -- more frequent and increasingly bolder or more violent. However, I think that most of it is restricted to the bigger cities,particularly the capital. I would bet that up in Sosua, for example, you dont see anything more than sneak thievery and burglary -- both of which have been common here for as long as I can remember (and that goes back to 1992). I think also that while the police are not so great, they are as Rocky says a bit more serious than before and they do in fact catch thieves -- what happens to them afterwards is another matter. And I agree, there is more reporting, people are up in arms about "delincuencia" so the papers are spending more ink on covering the issue.

But here where I live in the capital, and in all the nabes, I am seeing much more crime, there are incidents everyday, and the crimes are bolder, the thieves are doing things they didnt do before. I personally believe that as the pressure on the have-nots grows we will see more and more of this.

On the other hand, safety is another matter: is it safe? -- yes, if by that you mean are physically safe. most of the country is really very safe, and most of the crime, whether in fact we are seeing a real increase or not, is not violent (though I happen to think the violence is on the rise.)

Writing this all off, however, as a global trend is kind of irrelevant. First of all, I dont believe in comparing what happens here to a putative global trend that would be even harder to define than it is to define our trends here; and second, that has nothing to do with the causes or the solution. There are solutions and one of them is the kind of policing that cleaned up NYC for a brief period. Unfortunately here, most of the policing is left up to the individual: you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself and avoid providing opportunities to the thieves.

One other myth: the deportees. Yes some of them do in fact act as a bad influence here, but to attribute the spike in crime to their presence is wrong. The causes are much more complex. THere is no evidence to suggest that they are the ones contributing to the crime, and the evidence that we have suggests in fact the opposite: few of them turn to crime here. In fact, the drug gangs and thieves that you find in Cristo Rey, Gualey, Capotillo and the like have nothing to do with deportees; they are a home grown phenomenon, and the deportees dont come from these areas (they come, many of them, from the Cibao and return there, though they may drift with the rest of people into the cities and end up in the barrios).
 

Rocky

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macocael said:
But here where I live in the capital, and in all the nabes, I am seeing much more crime, there are incidents everyday, and the crimes are bolder, the thieves are doing things they didnt do before. I personally believe that as the pressure on the have-nots grows we will see more and more of this.
I suspected as much, but am out of that loop, so couldn't comment.
It may be a natural phenomenon, that as a city grows bigger, the crime goes up at a disproportionate rate.
Where I have noticed a lowering of crime, is in small towns, where you used to have family feuds, like the Hatfields & the McCoys, killing each other for no good reason.
I remember giving cops and the military lifts through the mountains on the Caretera Turistica, many years ago, and they would tell me about all the killings in that tiny town, Yasica.
Nowadays, it seems to have all settled down.
There is truly no way to tell if crime has risen, lowered or remained the same, but the important thing is that with the added media coverage, we can learn to protect ourselves better.
 

macocael

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Rocky, agreed. Btw, even in quiet little Sonador, where my wife's family hails from, we have these feuds; this is an interesting phenomenon. There was a good one going on for a while there a few years back, but it seems to have faded away. Course, you may remember the recent incident in Piedra Blanca when the politicos all got shot. But that doesnt seem to have led to any vendettas.

Your fruit business sounds interesting. One day if we ever meet, I would love to hear about it. I dont run any business here, other than my own freelance work, but I love to hear about how people set themselves up here. Always very interesting to meet the variety of people who come here and make a life for themselves.
 

Rocky

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There's a heck of a "Catch 22" with this subject.
If we inform people well, about all crime, we scare people away.
If we do not inform them, they will get robbed.
We can't afford to lose tourism as our number 1 industry, but we are morally bound to help protect the innocent.
The only solution is to reduce crime.
How to do this is a whole other cup of tea.
 

baileyboy

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It is interesting to read differet opinions on this topic. I mostly go to POP, as this is where my husband lives. But we have gone different parts of the island.

And just from reading this board, people write about B&E's in their blogs, and the safety, and then you read about thefts (pick-pocketers) and then people post about their houses being broken into. And then there is Licey, adn the going-ons there. It just seems every other day there is something written egativley about the DR. I believe Rocky is correct in saying it's just more of an outlet to let those know about the happenings in the DR and to help others from a similar situation.

When in Sto. Domingo, we had gotten a little magazine (Can't remember the name of it) but it was published monthly. And it was all about the crime in the DR. And it showed dead people, and their stories. It mostly had to do with drugs. And most of it took place in the capitol. It seemed to me, that the more violent offences were committed in the bigger cities.

Evenutally we are looking at living in the DR permanetly, and raising our family there. And I am concerened about the crime rate. But I guess it is no different then in the US or Cda, or anywhere for that matter. It's just a matter of using your head, and common sense.
Thanks
Lisa
 

macocael

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Rocky, I wholly agree. And I really dont like it when the tour groups discourage people from exploring outside the AIs by exaggerating the lack of safety and the crime statistics. Fact is, for most tourists this is a very very safe place. For those of us who live here, we will have a different experience perhaps, but tourists shouldnt fear to go outside the walls of their resorts. They will invariably be delighted by what they find.

Lisa, that magazine sounds like one of the lurid publications that focus on crime -- I wouldnt use that as an idex to the actual situation. I raise my family here, and I am perfectly satisfied. This is a good place for children if you can provide them with a private education.
 

amandalivoti

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i have lived here for thirty years.
last year i has my purse snatched twice in less than two months.
last week my cousin was pulling out of the ACROPOLIS parking lot, she pulled over for a second and these guys on a motorcycle reached in her car and snatched her purse. instinctively (???) she floored the car and took after them- only to have her car stop a few moment later (like they did something to the car before hand!)- and then, on the other side of the street, she witnessed a mob running after another thief who stole another purse!!
yes, things have gotten much worse in this country.
 

diego

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2 Nights ago

macocael said:
I would bet that up in Sosua, for example, you dont see anything more than sneak thievery and burglary -- both of which have been common here for as long as I can remember (and that goes back to 1992). I think also that while the police are not so great, they are as Rocky says a bit more serious than before and they do in fact catch thieves -- what happens to them afterwards is another matter. ).

Right across the street from the Colibri Hotel is Bank, next to it is a saloon, where my wife was just leaving, a Motoconcho stoped in front of the Bank, pulled a gun walked in and put it to the girls head, she gave him all the money they had, he got on his Bike and left..30 seconds and it was over.
The Police was called and they actually showed up within a few Minutes, after that i dont know
sneak thievery and burglary..those days are long gone, I have been robbed once, Friends of mine have been robbed at knife point in their home in the middle of the night, Clients have been held up.
I been here 14 Years and for some reason I don't want to live anywhere else..strange..
Diego
 

Rocky

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Are you talking about the Colibri in Sosua?
If so, I didn't know there was a bank accross the street, unless you are refering to a "banca".