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US Embassy warns citizens to be vigilant to avoid being a crime victim in Bahamas

cover2-2Security Message: Recent Armed Robberies in Popular Areas of Nassau

March 28, 2014

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens residing in and traveling to The Bahamas to be aware of their surroundings and remain on heightened alert to avoid being a victim of crime.

The following incidents occurred during the past two weeks in Nassau:

           On March 16, 2014, at approximately 10:30 p.m., a man operating a motorcycle at Arawak Cay was approached by another man who demanded he get off the motorcycle. When the motorist resisted, the unknown individual shot him in the thigh then sped away on the stolen motorcycle.

           On March 17, 2014, at approximately 12:30 p.m. Royal Bahamas Police Force Officers noticed occupants of a vehicle near Marathon Mall acting suspiciously and approached their vehicle, pulled the occupants out and saw that two of three individuals had on electronic monitoring ankle

bracelets. The police arrested all three individuals and later determined the two individuals who were wearing electronic monitoring devices were out on bail for previous armed robberies.

           On March 20, 2014, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a woman sitting in her vehicle in the parking lot of Caves Village Plaza was approached by three men in a car. One of the men exited the vehicle wielding a gun and demanded that the woman get out of her car. The attempted carjacking was thwarted when the woman’s screaming brought other passersby, who blocked the vehicle.          The man got out of the vehicle and escaped with his companions in their own car.

           On March 21, 2014, at approximately 5:30 p.m., three armed assailants attempted to rob an armored truck which was parked in front of the popular Wendy’s restaurant at Cable Beach. As two security guards were transferring the cash to the truck, three armed assailants attempted to rob them. The guards ran back into the restaurant to elude the assailants. The assailants initially chased after the Guards, but fled the area when they heard sirens from Royal Bahamas Police Force cruisers responding to the incident.

           On March 22, 2014, at 2:00 a.m., three armed assailants opened fire outside the Waterloo nightclub in Nassau. Three Royal Bahamas Police Force Officers who were in the immediate vicinity of the event responded and neutralized the gunmen.

Armed robbery and violent crime remain major threats facing both U.S. citizens and residents of The Bahamas, including in areas frequented by tourists on New Providence and Grand Bahamas Islands. In the past year, a number of U.S. citizens have fallen victim to armed robbery. Crime statistics for specific islands, as well as all of The Bahamas, can be viewed on The Royal Bahamas Police Force website at:

The Bahamian Government has publicly stated its commitment to fighting crime and has increased anti-crime measures. Among the measures now being taken are increased police patrols and traffic stops. We remind U.S. citizens driving in The Bahamas to carry identification and their driver’s licenses and to cooperate with the police at traffic stops and identification checks.

In light of this situation, U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to The Bahamas should review their personal security plans. Remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

If you are the victim of a crime abroad (including the loss or theft of a U.S. passport), you should immediately contact the local police (dial “911”). Contact with the Embassy should be made as soon as possible thereafter.

If you encounter a violent or threatening situation, try to remain calm and immediately get out of harm’s way. If confronted by armed criminals, remember your vehicle or valuables are not worth your life or anyone else’s life.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in The Bahamas enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for The Bahamas. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and Google play, to have travel information at your fingertips.

In The Bahamas, the Embassy is located at 42 Queen Street in downtown Nassau, and can be reached at 242-322-1181.


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