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  #1  
Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Default Theft and car breakins

I wonder whether visitors to Aruba are at a higher risk due to the V designation on the license plates of rental cars. It seems to me that if you rent a car that prominently displays a rental car company logo/advert or just shows the V plate, and park it outside a rental home, then this would alert those committing these crimes to the fact that the visitor will be away from the house at beaches, restaurants etc. Seems to me this would invite the criminal to watch for departures and plan a break in. Similarly, I believe the V plate encourages break ins to cars, as these criminals realize that most tourists are on the island for a week or 2 and that when they are gone, the authorities will probably not pursue the matter.

It would be nice if AHATA and the Aruban Govt. would consider a single licensing system that does not make it obvious that the car is a rental. Also, if the rental car companies would stop advertising all over the car that would also assist in reducing some of this criminal activity.

Last edited by aquaman; Monday, February 9th, 2009 at 10:06 AM.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

that is a really good idea. wonder why no one thought of it before?

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I wonder whether visitors to Aruba are at a higher risk due to the V designation on the license plates of rental cars. It seems to me that if you rent a car that prominently displays a rental car company logo/advert or just shows the V plate, and park it outside a rental home, then this would alert those committing these crimes to the fact that the visitor will be away from the house at beaches, restaurants etc. Seems to me this would invite the criminal to watch for departures and plan a break in. Similarly, I believe the V plate encourages break ins to cars, as these criminals realize that most tourists are on the island for a week or 2 and that when they are gone, the authorities will probably not pursue the matter.

It would be nice if AHATA and the Aruban Govt. would consider a single licensing system that does not make it obvious that the car is a rental. Also, if the rental car companies would stop advertising all over the car that would also assist in reducing some of this criminal activity.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

I agree. Damn good idea.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

They did - years ago when a group targeted rental cars leaving Miami airport. Rental companies said it would be massively expensive -ergo we'd pay for it.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Well, actually they have. A few years ago there was a plan to rearrange the entire carplate system.

The system that we have now is that the plate is connected to the owner, not the car. If you sell your car and get a new one you transfer the plate of the old car to the new car. Many Arubans are proud of having a low number carplate, because it means that they had it for a long. long time. I.e. my father had plate number 5493. Meaning he was the 5493th person on Aruba to get a car.

To accomplish what you suggest you would not only have to change the system of the numbering on the plates but also making a plate connected to the car instead of the owner. When they suggested it a few years ago, many Arubans protested against it.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Hi Sandra,

I understand the "emotional attachment" that many may have for the initial plates. I am sure smart minds could come up with a better system though that could take that into account.

Thanks for shedding some light on how the system now works. Maybe someone on this bb can come up with suggestions on a system that would take the originally issued plates into account.

I fear that the rental system as it is now just increases the risk. Why not keep the existing plates and do away with the V and A designations and come up with a single one??

Lets have some ideas everyone!!

Regards

Last edited by aquaman; Monday, February 9th, 2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

i would give people the same numbers without the 'A or V' call letters in front. they can keep the originals but not display them on the cars or that would defeat the purpose. although governments complain about pricing, making a license plate is cheap. the paperwork involved would give some people a temporary job. plus it would help all of the rental companies that are targets.

i certainly would not mind paying a one time $10-20 extra fee as a tourist family to help. think about it. the inconvenience involved (and i have been there) is worth much more than that little bit of money.

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Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
Hi Sandra,

I understand the "emotional attachment" that many may have for the initial plates. I am sure smart minds could come up with a better system though that could take that into account.

Thanks for shedding some light on how the system now works. Maybe someone on this bb can come up with suggestions on a system that would take the originally issued plates into account.

I fear that the rental system as it is now just increases the risk. Why not keep the existing plates and do away with the V and A designations and come up with a single one??

Lets have some ideas everyone!!

Regards
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

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Originally Posted by sherry View Post
i would give people the same numbers without the 'A or V' call letters in front. they can keep the originals but not display them on the cars or that would defeat the purpose. although governments complain about pricing, making a license plate is cheap. the paperwork involved would give some people a temporary job. plus it would help all of the rental companies that are targets.

i certainly would not mind paying a one time $10-20 extra fee as a tourist family to help. think about it. the inconvenience involved (and i have been there) is worth much more than that little bit of money.
That is not possible, since you would have double numbers.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

i see your point but in order to stop a major problem, people have to compromise. 'v' tags would just have to have new numbers issued. 'a' tags should remain the same number. i am quite sure that there are many numbers no longer in service (i.e. death, no longer driving, left the island) that can be filled in and used so that not all the 'v' tags would be easily identifiable by high numbers.

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That is not possible, since you would have double numbers.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Treat the rental company as the owner of the vehicle and issue "A" plates to them starting with whatever number is next in the sequence. Old numbers won't be affected and rental vehicles won't stand out like sore thumbs.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Thank you Sandra for explaining this. I have to agree w/sherry, acquaman and charlie here. The amount of break-ins are increasing, which to me might prohibit people to come to Aruba, or at least from renting a car.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Paint all rentals black and white and write the word,"POLICE" on each. Let the losers guess which are real.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

love it! walt you are at the top of your game today!

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Paint all rentals black and white and write the word,"POLICE" on each. Let the losers guess which are real.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

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Originally Posted by Dogwriter View Post
Paint all rentals black and white and write the word,"POLICE" on each. Let the losers guess which are real.
That would have to be "Polis" or they would know immediately.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

You could also be a "visability" team car! I have seen cars around w/ the word "police" instead of polis - don't know if care!!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: Theft and car breakins

I agree with both Charlie and Walt. Many years ago in Florida the rental car places changed their policies about having bumper stickers, etc. all over cars for the same reason. There were all kinds of thefts of personal belongings and luggage. It makes sense to do away with the "V" designations, make the rental companies the owners of the car, and then give them "A" plates. Good point, Sherry, on the cost of plates and the temporary jobs it would create for the processing!

On the other hand, maybe we could form a corporation and create/sell international auto/personal belonging insurance which would actually cover people's belongings when they are stolen, since most car insurance and/or homeowners' insurance companies won't pay claims outside the United States and so you are stuck with whatever supplemental insurance there is from your credit card company and/or trip insurance. I bet there would be a market for that in other places as well.....or maybe it exists already and I just don't know it.

Lora (who is thawing out in Iowa - its almost 60 today!!! Yeah!!!)
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmccollom View Post
I agree with both Charlie and Walt. Many years ago in Florida the rental car places changed their policies about having bumper stickers, etc. all over cars for the same reason. There were all kinds of thefts of personal belongings and luggage. It makes sense to do away with the "V" designations, make the rental companies the owners of the car, and then give them "A" plates. Good point, Sherry, on the cost of plates and the temporary jobs it would create for the processing!

On the other hand, maybe we could form a corporation and create/sell international auto/personal belonging insurance which would actually cover people's belongings when they are stolen, since most car insurance and/or homeowners' insurance companies won't pay claims outside the United States and so you are stuck with whatever supplemental insurance there is from your credit card company and/or trip insurance. I bet there would be a market for that in other places as well.....or maybe it exists already and I just don't know it.

Lora (who is thawing out in Iowa - its almost 60 today!!! Yeah!!!)
Most homeowner policies will pay for your stolen items anywhere in the world. Trouble is you will pay your deductable first. Then you have to provide the police reports etc. So if you have a $1000 deductable like I do, and have $1200 worth of stuff stolen , you collect enough to pass go.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

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Originally Posted by arubabob View Post
Most homeowner policies will pay for your stolen items anywhere in the world. Trouble is you will pay your deductable first. Then you have to provide the police reports etc. So if you have a $1000 deductable like I do, and have $1200 worth of stuff stolen , you collect enough to pass go.
Yep. And if the insurance was a rider through the rental, you could never prove exactly what was in the car. Imagine all the laptops and high end digital stuff folks would be claiming.
This problem exists all over the Caribbean and Mexico. In some places, it is the police who pull over rentals and shake-down tourists. Until now, this type of possible petty crime was the worst Aruba visitors faced. I worry that there may be a large increase in room break-ins. A bad global ecomomy might foster a more aggressive "economic stimulus."
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

when we were burglarized, i know for a fact that the other room involved declared loses that didn't happen. the woman actually took us in her bedroom and said 'look! they missed my jewelry! it's all here!' and i saw her cell phones lined up charging when the owner went in with us to check the room. the next day when we went to claim our loses they claimed jewelry and cell phones. really pissed me off. wish i would have had their names and insurance company. i sure would have reported them.



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Originally Posted by Dogwriter View Post
Yep. And if the insurance was a rider through the rental, you could never prove exactly what was in the car. Imagine all the laptops and high end digital stuff folks would be claiming.
This problem exists all over the Caribbean and Mexico. In some places, it is the police who pull over rentals and shake-down tourists. Until now, this type of possible petty crime was the worst Aruba visitors faced. I worry that there may be a large increase in room break-ins. A bad global ecomomy might foster a more aggressive "economic stimulus."
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

One favorite part of repeat visitors to Aruba is that you can get the car and drive around to explore or visit a great restaurant. If these thefts increase, some (including myself) would prefer to do an all-inclusive in the DR, where the food is great and you don't want to drive around by yourselves anyway!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: Theft and car breakins

Maybe we should make a list of ideas for people to help lessen their chances of being burgled. It sounds like #1 would be to put your valuables in the safe in your room/timeshare.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

hahahahahaha... yeah. well, uhm, we did and...

THEY STOLE THE SAFE!!!

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Maybe we should make a list of ideas for people to help lessen their chances of being burgled. It sounds like #1 would be to put your valuables in the safe in your room/timeshare.
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

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Originally Posted by sherry View Post
when we were burglarized, i know for a fact that the other room involved declared loses that didn't happen. the woman actually took us in her bedroom and said 'look! they missed my jewelry! it's all here!' and i saw her cell phones lined up charging when the owner went in with us to check the room. the next day when we went to claim our loses they claimed jewelry and cell phones. really pissed me off. wish i would have had their names and insurance company. i sure would have reported them.
Great response Sherry! You have touched on both topics as well as bringing out an ethics point. Break-ins may be increasing and... some folks use these events as opportunities to profit.
So who is the bigger thief, the guy who may need to steal to buy food or the affluent tourist who steals from the insurance company?
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: Theft and car breakins

They stole THE SAFE???? You have got to be kidding me! That makes it seem like making a list of safety ideas is even more important....and it makes it difficult to come up with item #2 for the list!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

very frequently, the thieves at hotels and on the beach are tourists. with car break ins, if they are stealing gas or batteries or for that matter the cars themselves, they will be locals to where you are vacationing. if they are stealing objects the chances are equal that they are tourists. tourists get away with a lot because 'hey, they are tourists', lol.

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Great response Sherry! You have touched on both topics as well as bringing out an ethics point. Break-ins may be increasing and... some folks use these events as opportunities to profit.
So who is the bigger thief, the guy who may need to steal to buy food or the affluent tourist who steals from the insurance company?
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

yes, they took the safe and everything in it.

want my list? i'll be glad to give it to everyone. understand that any vacation spot in any place from aruba to alaska has bad people. some are locals. some are tourists. ask my daughter who's co worker had her cell phone taken in nigeria while she was sitting in a cab talking on it.

here's the short list:

1. DON'T BE IDIOTS. LEAVE YOUR JEWELRY HOME!!! we did, thank goodness. who the heck are you trying to impress? do you have to impress the waiters with that 2 carat diamond? if it isn't on your body 24/7, don't bring it.

2. any item of value that you bring, make sure there is a receipt or picture of it at home. i.e. computers, cameras, ipods.

3. don't bring more than a few hundred in cash. travelers checks all the way. i made that mistake. i had $2600 in cash because i had a SAFE in my room. no insurance company pays more than $200 for cash.

4. scan all credit cards, driver's license, passport, etc on both sides. keep a copy in your safe deposit box at home. bring a copy of all emergency numbers to cancel cards but don't bring the card numbers. you don't want a thief to get that.

5. don't trust tourists unless they came with you and doubt them a bit too, lol.

6. don't leave anything in a car unless you want it taken because you have a good chance that it will be. our car was broken into in our driveway several years ago. it happens everywhere.

i am sure given another 15 minutes i could come up with a much longer list but those are the basics. we do have a safety section Aruba Safety - Aruba Forums at Visit Aruba and i really would suggest that everyone should read it.

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Originally Posted by lmccollom View Post
They stole THE SAFE???? You have got to be kidding me! That makes it seem like making a list of safety ideas is even more important....and it makes it difficult to come up with item #2 for the list!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: Theft and car breakins

I think your list is great. I like the idea of taking pics of camera, iPod, Blackberry, etc. (my insurance agent would be proud) When I travel internationally, I always make a copy of my passport and DL and then leave it with either my sister or my assistant so I know who to call if I need it. I also take copies (passport and DL) with me and try to keep them with me at all times, just in case. I started doing that after a friend of mine had her passport stolen in Italy - while she was there over 9/11. Seriously. Same thing with credit card info - the last four digits of the card and the 1-800 number (with my sister at home, not with me at all times). I always thought my mom was nuts when she did that kind of thing...and now I am becoming my mother!!!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

mom always knows best, lol.

our passport was another thing in the SAFE. i had my scan of the passports and was able to report the numbers to homeland security. actually, homeland security and our own consulate were the worst nightmare of stupid moronic people i dealt with. the airlines, customs agents, and polis were the best part.

i borrowed a computer and contacted my daughter who had a list of all passwords on our computers. i renew that list and email it to her every vacation. i also leave a copy in our safe deposit box. i was able to change every password within a few hours of the burglary.

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Originally Posted by lmccollom View Post
I think your list is great. I like the idea of taking pics of camera, iPod, Blackberry, etc. (my insurance agent would be proud) When I travel internationally, I always make a copy of my passport and DL and then leave it with either my sister or my assistant so I know who to call if I need it. I also take copies (passport and DL) with me and try to keep them with me at all times, just in case. I started doing that after a friend of mine had her passport stolen in Italy - while she was there over 9/11. Seriously. Same thing with credit card info - the last four digits of the card and the 1-800 number (with my sister at home, not with me at all times). I always thought my mom was nuts when she did that kind of thing...and now I am becoming my mother!!!
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Old Monday, February 9th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Hi all,

Lets get back on the topic of those plates

With all apologies to Shakespeare:

'To "V" or not to "V" That is the question'

Aquaman
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Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogwriter View Post
Paint all rentals black and white and write the word,"POLICE" on each. Let the losers guess which are real.
Police cars in Aruba are not black and white. They have blue and orange markings... very ugly.
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Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherry View Post
mom always knows best, lol.

our passport was another thing in the SAFE. i had my scan of the passports and was able to report the numbers to homeland security. actually, homeland security and our own consulate were the worst nightmare of stupid moronic people i dealt with. the airlines, customs agents, and polis were the best part.

i borrowed a computer and contacted my daughter who had a list of all passwords on our computers. i renew that list and email it to her every vacation. i also leave a copy in our safe deposit box. i was able to change every password within a few hours of the burglary.
Sherry, the most valuable thing we take on vacation is a camera and it only cost $250. Mostly travelers checks and a small amount of cash and a couple of credit cards. All we lost when we were at Mangel Halto was a fifty dollar travelers check and we were reimbursed for it by Amex. The camera and car keys were in the same bag but they did not take them. I agree with you, dont take exspensive stuff on vacation.
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Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
Hi all,

Lets get back on the topic of those plates

With all apologies to Shakespeare:

'To "V" or not to "V" That is the question'

Aquaman
I can forgive you, but Shakespeare is probably known as whirling Willie at the graveyard right now.
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  #33  
Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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aquaman aquaman is offline
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Arubabob,

Thanks. My first good laugh of the day

Aquaman
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  #34  
Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
Arubabob,

Thanks. My first good laugh of the day

Aquaman
Your welcome. A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. Dont know who to apologize for that one.
I like the idea of not to V myself. Why does anyone need to know if it is a visitor or a resident using a car?
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Old Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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aquaman aquaman is offline
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Default Re: Theft and car breakins

Seems to me a reason for V and A plates would be to help the Polis ascertain who to go after
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  #36  
Old Wednesday, February 11th, 2009, 12:15 AM
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

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Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
Seems to me a reason for V and A plates would be to help the Polis ascertain who to go after
it shouldnt matter to the police. They can run the tag and know who owns the car in 2 seconds. If the car is violating driving laws, the operator should be stopped whether aruban or tourist.
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  #37  
Old Wednesday, February 11th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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seashelldiver seashelldiver is offline
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Smile Re: Theft and car breakins

Luckily everyplace I have stayed in Aruba (even some apartments like Sasaki and ArubaBeach Villas)the safes are cemented or bolted to the floor. If it isn't it really isn't a "safe" safe......make sure your safe is locked into the cement floor.....unless they got a jack hammer strapped to their backs, they aren't going to stick around and try and crack the safe !
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