Space Invaders – A Dockwalk Article

Written by Kelly Sanford\r\n\r\nThere have been a rash of home invasion-style crimes in St. Maarten recently where thieves sneaked aboard yachts under cover of darkness, going inside the vessel to steal while crew were presumed to be asleep.\r\n\r\nIn mid-January 2011, Dockwalk received an account from a captain whose vessel was burglarized while docked in St. Maarten. The account and accompanying video surveillance footage of the intruder were posted on and subsequent replies led to the realization that at least a dozen similar incidents had occurred in the same area. The captain, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote, “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 three a.m. … The chef was forward in the boat and heard [the burglar] enter, but was too frightened to investigate. [She] locked herself in a bathroom.”\r\n\r\nThe thief went straight to the galley and stole a number of laptops and cell phones before leaving. The captain says that the thief was able to gain access by using a key hidden in an external locker and suspected that the burglar had been watching the boat, as only the crew knew the key’s location. Another crewmember was awakened by the intruder and when he went to find marina security, no one was around.\r\n\r\n”I reviewed the tap several times as well as the posted comments of the captain,” says Chris Simovich of security and protection service Global Strategies, Inc. “Our company deals mainly with counter-piracy in some of the host spots in the world. However, we also provide services to [those] who share the same concerns and threats in private yachting.”\r\n

“There is no way to know what is in the mind of someone who has the audacity to board a vessel. You cannot know if their intent is a simple robbery, a kidnap for ransom or a random act of violence.”

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