When a new guest comes to our little place, we like to spend a couple of minutes to talk about crime and safety. It dosesn't take long because we live in such a safe place, but it is always a point of interest for our guests.
With that in mind let me go over the most common crimes we see here on the island and how you can avoid them.
5: Beach Robbery
I listed this as the least as the least likely crime for a reason. In the last hear one person has been dropped on the beach, and the rumor on the island is that the victim and culprit might have known each other.
It is rare, in the extreme, that anything would happen to you at night here on Caye Caulker. My wife and I have walked the island many times at all hours of the day and night without incident.
Use common sense here. Don't walk at night alone, stay with friends. Avoid getting so drunk that you can't be sure where you are. Lastly, take a cab! The taxi drivers on the island are very affordable ($5 per person to go anywhere on the island).
4: Property Fraud
As you wander down Front Street, you will find some realtors mixed in with tour companies, restaurants and bars. A sceptic (like me) would probably assume that tourists find the idea of buying property as interesting as snorkeling the reef, and such a sceptic would be correct.
The number of tourists that consider buying property without spending any time on the island (other than a week) is quite amazing. I would love to be on high and say those folks are silly, but frankly, my wife and I looked at a couple of properties during a vacation.
Be careful here if you decide to include reality in your vacation. More than one person has spent money looking at the property only to find out the individual showing them does not own the plot in question.
This doesn't often happen because the realtors on the island do a good job of overshadowing the individuals trying to run this scam but just be aware.
3: Boat Engines:
There has been a rash of small boat motors being stolen here on the island recently. Surprisingly, many have been recovered and more often than not they are found back in Belize City on the mainland.
If you bring a dingy or another small boat to the island, please invest in a boat security system. When you think about the cost of the boat and motor, this is a very affordable investment to make.
2: Bike Theft:
The top item stolen on Caye Caulker is bicycles. In the last year, we have personally had three bikes stolen and although it 's hard to admit they could have all been avoided with little effort on our part.
If your but is not on your bikes seat, it should be locked. A simple lock avoids every stolen bike story we have ever heard. There are so many unlocked bikes on the island that the would-be thief simply goes down the street.
I must say that often the person stealing bikes does not even know they are committing a crime. More than one bike has been taken from a bar because the "thief" is drunk and the bike is unlocked.
I list this one as the number one crime because it happens every day on the island and nobody does much to stop it. There is a person on Front Street who asks people to help with the "Boys Athletic Program". Let me say that my wife and I have fallen for this ourselves, but after living here, we have realized the truth. There has never been a program run by this person, and it is just a simple scam. If you're approached by someone talking about this program simply say no thanks and move on or if you like me, tell him you donated to the other guy yesterday (that will make him start wondering who else on the island is trying his scam).
So to sum up, most issues here on the island can be avoided with a little common sense. Don't be afraid, this is one of the safest places we have ever been to, but be aware of your surroundings and if you have a question just reach out.