I must totally agree with the letter from D.C., Crime problems won't end unless apathy does: the island must wake up to the impact that crime is having on tourism and do something before it is too late.
This does not apply only to the cruise ships; we own a vacation villa that we have been very busy renting. The response not only to our home, but also to the island has been very positive. We have guests from all over who come to St. Croix and fall in love with the house and the island, but that recently changed dramatically.
On the very day that our guests checked in for a two week stay which included their wedding, some band of criminals broke into our home and took not only things like our TV and stereo, but also many of our guests' personal possessions. Needless to say, the guests moved out immediately. Not only did we have personal loss, but the island lost as well. These guests will not go home and promote St. Croix as a great destination but will have only horror stories about their brief stay in "paradise".
We have been vacationing on the island for many years and have been homeowners for many more. This is the first time crime has touched us personally and I am outraged and feel totally violated. This is a place where we come to get away from the worries of everyday life in the big city, a place where many of our repeat guests come for the same reason, and now it is a place where we have to put iron bars over the doors and windows which keep out not only the criminals, but which also keep out the beauty of St. Croix. We will never feel the same affection for our island home thanks to the actions of these people.
St. Croix needs to do something fast or there won't be any tourists left who want to risk having their vacations ruined by thugs. I am thankful that no one was injured during this robbery that took place in broad daylight at a home where all the doors and windows were locked. I will always be afraid to stay in my own home now; it is not a good feeling. So when the government laments the loss of tourist dollars in the economy, maybe they need to look at the crime wave with a bit more interest.
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