Police increase patrols after tourist robberies
Police are warning tourists to protect themselves against thieves after a number of visitors fell victim to criminals.
Two elderly women were injured in a scuffle with a bag-snatcher in St George’s yesterday while a third visitor had her handbag taken from the basket of her livery cycle.
According to police, the two women, aged 67 and 69, were walking on Cut Road near Floral Lane, St George, at about 3pm when a man on a dark-coloured motorcycle rode up and grabbed a bag from the 67-year-old, causing her to fall to the ground.
Both women suffered minor injuries as they struggled with the suspect, who eventually escaped with the bag, which contained cash, credit cards and travel documents.
The robber, who was described as approximately 5ft 10in tall, wore a black long-sleeved top, dark-coloured pants and a glossy white helmet with a mirrored visor.
In an earlier incident, a visitor had her handbag stolen from her livery cycle while riding on South Road in Smith’s.
Just after 1pm, a black male dressed in black and wearing a black helmet with a full-face visor, pulled alongside and grabbed her handbag containing an Apple iPhone, cash, bank cards and driver’s licences from the rear metal basket. The suspect then rode off on St Mark’s Road.
Acting Chief Inspector Kenten Trott said that the Bermuda Police Service was carrying out “proactive” patrols in an effort to prevent more visitors from being targeted.
He said: “The BPS is aware that when these types of offences have occurred previously, that often a number of them occur until the offenders are apprehended.
“We will be conducting proactive patrols and vehicle stops with the intention of combating these crimes whilst reviewing CCTV coverage of the areas.”
The Bermuda Police Service has provided the following advice to deter crime against visitors:
• When at your hotel or guest accommodation, use the hotel or room safes, if available. Do not leave items of value in plain view
• Secure your room at night and when you are out for the day
• When travelling through the island on rental mopeds, secure all your items in the basket or carrier provided. Cover it, if necessary, to prevent your property from being stolen or lost in transit
• When at the beach or other tourist site, never leave items of value unattended. Valuables in your hotel rooms, whether occupied or unoccupied or left unattended on beaches or other tourist spots are more vulnerable to theft
• When walking at night, use main thoroughfares that are generally well lit
• When attending a nightclub or bar, use common sense and never leave your drink unattended
• Bermuda is a small community with many neighbourhoods. If, in your travels, you walk or ride into an area where you feel uncomfortable, then leave as quickly as possible
• Reduce the chance that you may become a victim of crime by maintaining a full awareness of your surroundings
• Should you have any concerns about your safety while on the Island, contact your hotel or guesthouse security manager. The local police service is available 24 hours a day and work from various stations across the island. Should you wish to report a crime or incident, call the police at your earliest convenience.
Mr Trott stressed that Bermuda was still a safe destination, but it was important for visitors not to encourage opportunist criminals.
He said: “The vast majority of tourist-related offences are crimes of opportunity, so it therefore makes sense to take reasonable precautions to reduce your risk of becoming the victim of such crimes.
“We’re not saying that Bermuda is a less safe destination. What we are saying often times is that people, when they are on vacation, let their guard down.
“Bermuda is beautiful, it’s paradise, it’s the best place in the world, but you still have to take those precautions. We just want to make sure that people are enjoying themselves, but safely.”
Mr Trott said the police will be working with tourism professionals to drive home their message.
Anyone who has information on yesterday’s two crimes is asked to call Acting Sergeant Simon Fraser on 717 2462, the main police number, 295 0011 or 211, or the Crime Stoppers hotline on 800 8477.