French and Dutch authorities brainstorming a joint plan to combat car theft in St. Martin/St. Maarten.
PHILIPSBURG--Personnel of the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM, the Prosecutor’s Office and the French St. Martin Gendarmerie held a meeting at the Philipsburg police station on Thursday to develop a joint plan of approach to combat the increase in car theft on the island.
“The meeting … was a means for all parties to come up with a joint solution to help alleviate car theft and formulate a plan to do so. During the meeting information was exchanged about all current cases of car theft reported on both the Dutch side and French side of the island,” said police in a press release on Friday.
According to the press release, the three entities will be meeting with various key stakeholders in the coming weeks to derive a plan to stop stolen cars from being put back into circulation. Some key stakeholders are insurance companies and the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Inspection Department.
“The hope is to better understand how these processes are currently done and to brainstorm how we all can jointly come up with new and improved ways to register and insure cars. This will then make it next to impossible for stolen vehicles not to be detected and reported when thieves try to reintegrate the cars into circulation. The proper authorities can then be immediately alerted, and these car thieves can be apprehended,” said police.
Police gave several tips and precautionary measures to prevent car theft.
“Always take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle; always close your windows and doors when you are not in your vehicle; make an effort to park in well-lit areas at all times; never leave your vehicle unattended while running/exercising; never leave valuables in the vehicle in plain view; [and – Ed.] protect your vehicle with an anti-theft/immobiliser device,” said police.
Police also said law enforcement can only “do so much” to prevent car theft. “Prevention is always better than finding a cure. Protect your property by taking the necessary precautionary measures,” concluded police.