Dear Source,
We were seriously considering your islands as a place we would like to retire to in a few years.
Although St.Thomas is wonderful for visitors and tourists, our heart was for St. John and its treasures. But St. John is a little expensive for real estate, so we considered logically that St. Croix should be the best bargain and the place we should take a look at.
With its size and industry and desire to attract tourist dollars, we might be a good investment for the island.
I was on St. Thomas in March 1968, yes, when chickens were running loose down by the main docks. We were on St. Thomas for a few days last year and on St. John for a week last year and again this year. We had never been to St. Croix.
So this year we decided to give St. Croix a good look and took three days to see the island. We booked into the Buccaneer Hotel, so you know we were comfortable and had a good base to start from.
St. Croix could be so charming and it could be so successful, but it fails itself. And it fails badly. Petty crime is not a cottage industry; it is the main industry, ahead of tourism, because that's what you remember.
I'm not going to include the missing police officer in my impressions, because that's something else entirely.
We were told when we rented our car to please roll our windows down and empty our cars when we park, because the bandits won't break the car windows if they're rolled down.
Then at the hotel we were told the same thing. Then we went around the island and saw and photographed young men running along the parked cars checking the windows and doors for a quick hit and run.
You know this is happening and then dare to put me and my family in the middle of these crimes. We were told to leave Christiansted when it gets dark.
We had planned to snorkel at the old pier in Fredriksted in the evening to find octopus, but a visit to that town for lunch showed us we didn't belong there daytime or nighttime. We turned around and left.
The island of St. Croix has many, many treasures; yet, I may never go back and put my family in that unsafe position again.
I say to St. Croix: See your overgrown, petty crime-ridden, threatening island through the eyes of a visitor with a plan to settle there, and maybe you'll clean up your act.
Your crime is your failure, and failure is your future.
John R. DiMiceli
Germantown, MD


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