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Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Ohio
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17 posts
6 reviews
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Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

We just got back from a week stay and rented a car. Overall, we had a great time in Aruba and do love the island. However, I read a lot in the forums before we went, and I am surprised I did not read about anybody getting their rental car broken into. We were at the Alto Vista Chapel on Easter Sunday for no more than 5 minutes and someome busted out our window, popped open our trunk and stole our stuff out of it. From what we learned after making a police report and talking to islanders, it is a pretty common occurrence.

So I just want to give a fair warning to everyone out there to be very careful, especially when visiting sights on the north side of the island. We ended up carrying our bag with us the rest of the week and leaving our windows down. We figured it was better to have a few things taken out of our trunk than having a window busted too.

Overall, it turned out pretty good. The rental company only charged us $30.00 to have the window fixed.

Also, I high recommend the Mi Dushi snorkel trip. It was great fun. The trip to DePalm island is also fun, but I wouldn't recommend the kayak trip, as they were over an hour late and still had everyone on the tirp go back on time, so their time on DePalm Island was shorted. I don't know why they were late. When I told him we had waited almost 2 hours he just laughed.

Connecticut
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112 posts
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1. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

I was surprised to see all the rental cars with stickers or signs of the company name on them. This clearly identifies the vehicle as a vacationer and a target for crime.

A bunch of years back, after some high profile crime in Florida targeting people in rental cars, most rental companies stopped putting their names on the cars this way a vacationer can not be easily identified.

Just my 2 cents.

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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2. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Doesn't matter if the rental car has a rental agency sticker on it or not. All of the rental cars in Aruba start with the letter "V" on the license plate so it's easy to tell a visitor (rental) car from a local's car.

Ohio
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3. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

I felt the same way about the stickers all over the car and mentioned it to the Budget guy. He acted almost like it was my fault for leaving stuff in the car the thieves could see, which was not true. All that I had in there was a map and my daughter's tennis shoes.

We also learned later that visitor's license plates start with a V. I wonder what the reason behind this is.

Riverhead, New York
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336 posts
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4. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

thanks for the heads-up!

You get this warning everywhere, though. Hawaii had a real problem with this.

I, too will leave the windows open and take anything of value with me when I get out of the vehicle.

New Jersey
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2,059 posts
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5. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Thanks for reminding us not to leave stuff in the trunk - I wouldn't have thought there would be a problem at the Chapel, but it's good to be reminded to be careful.

Besides the "V" on plates for car rentals, I believe there's a "T" on the plate if there's a taxi.

Canada
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107 posts
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6. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Just wondering, what do you do with your belongings (money, keys, credit cards, etc.) when you go snorkelling?

WNC
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7. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Take a waterproof pouch if all of your group is snorkeling or leave one of your group to watch your valuables! Aruba is like most Caribbean Islands in that many local thieves prey on tourist knowing the tourist will be leaving in a few days and they will not have to worry anymore. Most of the time local law enforcement just tell you that you should have known better. Be travel smart! Stay in groups and do not give full trust anyone you have just met.

Many problems arise ones last night as the one setting you up knows you will be leaving the next morning and that you will not take the time to report it to law enforcement! This is especially bad on cruise ships or staying at an isolated villa!!

Many of my clients who have problems say they do not report it because they are afraid they will miss their flight. These last day crimes do not show up in crime statsbecause they were not reported!

Rocky Top
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108 reviews
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8. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Caribjack

You sure hit the nail on the head about last day or last night crimes against tourist! Some Caribbean locations are worst than others. My travel clients have reported to me many last day crimes, Aruba (3), Jamaica(10+), Cancun (2), Martinique (3), STT, Nassau, Caracus, and cruises(8). I am talking about LAST DAY OR NIGHT ONLY!! I would say that 90% of crimes against my clients have been on the last night! They have gotten to know you by some means and know most likely you will not take the time to report it, becasue most likey you will miss yor flight. I am talking about serious crimes like robbery, drugged, raped(men and women) not petty crimes like stoten camera from room or beach. Most happen with the victim being drugged or intoxicated.

Especially be extremely careful the last night even if the new people you met during the week seem OK. Sometimes local thieves and criminals act as if they are tourist like you.

Keep your guard up and your Caribbean trip can be a great one.

Rocky Top
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9. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

All travelers to all destinations need to remember this. Watch the last night!

Hollywood, Florida
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10. Re: Watch out for rental car thieves!!!

Had a client recently that was in a rental car in Jamaica. A taxi comes up bumps him in the rear at a stop sign and he get out to check the rental car and het gets robbed. He reports it to the police and they tell him he should have never got out of the car . The police were not even interested in taking the the report. He needed a police report to collect his insurance on what was taken!