Belize, St Georges Cay: Break in and burglary from anchored yacht – November 2013

Published 11 years ago, updated 5 years ago

On 11/25/2013 my wife and I anchored DreamCatcher, our Island Packet 45, off St Georges Cay, Belize.

Around 1700 we went ashore and found Pleasure Island Resort had closed several years ago. St Georges Cay Lodge was open, neat and clean and is run by a friendly Texan with his wife and children. We made dinner reservations for the next night since they serve family style and need advance notice to determine how much to make.

We returned to the boat around 18:30 to find the locked companionway doors sprung open from the inside. Entry had been gained by prying open the small hatch over the galley and dropping a child, or very small adult, through the hatch which measures 10 inches x 10 inches.

Missing were a wallet, a small video camera and a very nice flare gun. They had my laptop off the nav. station and were attempting to disconnect the flat screen television when we probably surprised them with our early return instead of staying for dinner.

Next morning we tried reaching St Georges Lodge by VHF and phone, but only got a recording which we used to inform them of what had happened and why we were cancelling our reservations for dinner that night.

I decided NOT to inform the Belizean Police after seeing up close and personal how they function when I was declaring my shotgun while clearing into the country. One-half day in a 7 x 9 filthy cell with no lights, seat, bed or toilet with total confusion regarding their new gun law reigning supreme. Released that day, the next day, 10 days, 90 days or 22 years( 7 years for the gun and 1 year for each shell) were bandied about. After cooler heads prevailed and I was released. To go back into this system and report the theft which included a flare gun was the last thing I wanted to do. In their warped new law, a flare gun is verboten and subject to the same penalties as true guns despite being mandatory safety equipment. Apparently has NOT been enforced but I have no desire to be the first and the even if the crime was reported chance of apprehension of criminals or recovery of items was slim to none.

Bruce Senay

s/v DreamCatcher IP45-03

Bocas del Toro, Panama

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