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Friday, January 27, 2023



Sept. 17, 2001 – After a wave of spring and summer break-ins had St. John villa managers up in arms, burglaries on the island dropped by 42 percent in August from the July figures, Police Lt. Rene Garcia said.
Garcia said the earlier burglaries happened because his department was short staffed. However, an unspecified number of officers from the district's Community Oriented Policing program and the Special Operations Bureau were subsequently transferred to St. John to beef up staffing.
"They were on patrols and stakeouts," he said.
He declined to say how many officers now are assigned to St. John.
Garcia also said that the overall number of felonies on St. John decreased by 41 percent in August compared to July of this year. Felonies in addition to burglary are grand larceny, auto theft, rape and murder.
No one has been arrested in connection with any of the earlier incidents. And this has villa rental managers worried that the island may see another of its periodic burglary waves once villas fill up for the winter season. "Bookings are lower now," Catered Too owner Eileen Duffy said.
Most of the villas hit in the spring and summer were occupied at the time. The burglars made brief forays into the houses, grabbing pocketbooks and wallets.
"They were more apt to go into houses where people were asleep, out on the deck or in the pool," Chris Barbich at Caribbean Villas and Resort Co. said. In July alone, she said, burglars hit 14 of the homes managed by Caribbean Villas. The total number of burglaries was not available.
Barbich said all of the company's rental properties have safes, and staff members tell visitors to use them.
While news of the burglary wave made Internet chat rooms and bulletin boards, Barbich said, she received no cancellations due to that problem. However, some guests in villas hit by burglars were moved to other homes or checked out for the Westin Resort.

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