Let me start by saying this was our 4th trip to Key West in less than a year. We love the atmosphere, the people, the intimacy of the town, the restaurants ... just everything. Sadly we had an unfortunate experience that came close to ruining our trip. I am sharing this with everyone hoping to help others not make the same mistake that we made. We were tourists, and did everything wrong!
We stayed in a beautiful home located on Southard Street in Old Town. (I won't give the exact address as I don't feel that would be fair to the home owners ~ we would stay there again) The second night there we were burglarized while sleeping. 2 of the bedrooms were on the first floor. My husband was in the one bedroom, my 13 year old son and his friend were in the second first floor bedroom, I had fallen asleep on the couch. My purse was on the counter (this was mistake number 1), maybe 8 feet from me. In my purse was all of our cash, which was a good amount (that was mistake number 2 having it all in one place). The person came into the house, took the cash out of the wallets and my sunglasses, all while we were sleeping. The next morning we woke up at 4 am for a fishing trip and noticed the money was gone. I can't adequately describe in words the feelings that ran through us. We had 4 kids with us, they were so scared the rest of the trip. How dare this person do this to innocent children! The best news in this whole thing, no one was hurt. I am thinking it was a good thing that no one woke up.
I feel obligated to share this story not to put fear into those visiting beautiful Key West, rather to make those who read this aware. Don't make yourselves victims.
The response from the Police department was so prompt! You could tell they genuinely cared about what had happened and wanted to do all they could to help us. The police then called in a detective. He sat us down, talked with us, asked us questions and did all he could to make us comfortable. He stayed with us until the Crime Scene Investigator came. The way our situation was handled was so professional, yet was so personal. Though our experience was traumatic and very frightening, Key West has a group of Law Enforcement people second to none. You all should be very grateful and thankful to them. I know we are.
According to the police this seems to happen in spurts. We went online and found that 3 burglaries had occurred in the general area Easter Weekend.
I'll share a few things that we were told, hopefully passing this along will help prevent this happening to someone else. Never put all of your money in one place. Probably isn't a bad idea to slip your wallets under your mattress while your sleeping. Don't bring/wear expensive jewelry. Be certain to lock all your doors and windows. The Detective told us to purchase the travel door alarms. When placed on the doors and alarm will go off when opened. Don't carry money in your wallet. Leave nothing valuable in clear view. Don't be a tourist!
All of this being said, we will visit again. I highly recommend Key West. The local people are so friendly and kind. We look forward to our next trip ... If you are planning a trip there by all means go and enjoy ... just be aware ... this can happen anywhere!
I hope the person is caught and we will gladly come testify against him/her.