Robbery victim speaks out: “We have to stop these guys.”

POSTED: 11/19/14 9:20 PM

St. Maarten – “This guy is lurking around, looking for people to scam. We have to stop these guys, they have become a nuisance to society, and they are a growing criminal gang – from stealing bags to mugging workers to armed robberies,” said a night worker in the Maho area, who was recently robbed by three armed men. The robbery took place while he was giving an “acquaintance” of his a ride home.

The gentleman believes he was the victim of an elaborate and premeditated ploy organized by his acquaintance, who is said to go by the name of Jean, and is of Haitian descent. According to the victim Jean is in his early twenties and lives in the Cay Hill area. “This guy was watching me all the time. He befriended me, asking about how expensive my watch was. I gave him a ride a few times in the past, thinking it was cool, but what I did not know was that this guy is a part of a gang. He does surveillance for them, and then brings back information to his friends.”

While leaving the Maho area, the victim received a call from Jean, who was standing outside of Casino Royale, asking him for a ride. The victim gave Jean a ride, and the two men set off in the direction of Philipsburg. The victim went on to explain that as he pulled over to let Jean out at his stop, the young man began complaining of pain in his stomach. Jean then asked the victim to drive him up the road closer to his home, which the victim did. Once they were at the final destination, the three armed men, who were masked and dressed in all-black, appeared out of the darkness. They pulled Jean out of the car, disappearing into the darkness.

The three men proceeded to rob their victim, taking his watch, cellphone, wallet and other belongings. The robbers forced their victim out of his car and then drove off with it. No sooner had the robbers left than Jean reappeared from some nearby bushes. The victim pointed out that the young man was left unharmed and had not been robbed. He still had his watch and phone, which he gave to the victim to call the police. The following day, the victim went to the police station to file a report. He pointed out that Jean was brought in for questioning, but was eventually released because of lack of evidence.

The victim, however, decided to investigate the matter further. He began asking persons who work in the Maho area about Jean. “As I shared my story with other people– casino workers and people who work night shifts– his name kept popping up everywhere. There is one casino worker who got robbed two months ago, and he told me that this same guy was quizzing him about the details of his mugging the day after it happened. I also heard from an ex-security guard that he and his friends stole a tourist’s bag in Maho. It was caught on camera, but nothing was done, and he is still walking around freely.”

The victim met Jean about six months ago and said that the young man is well known in the Maho area, frequenting casinos and nightclubs. Jean told the victim that he was working at Windward Islands Bank (WIB); however, the victim learned otherwise. He was told by other sources that Jean is currently working at a resort in the Pelican area. When the two met, Jean told the victim that he was helping put up posters and campaign for a candidate for the UP party.

The victim admitted he does not have any concrete evidence against his perpetrator. He does, however, want to “inform the St. Maarten community to be aware. I think everybody should know about these guys who lurk around casinos, nightclubs and tourist places, stealing from people.”

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