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Thread: How to be safer in the DR - Compilation of tips by DR1 Members

  1. #351
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    I felt safer in VietNam than I do in the DR!!!
    Of course I carried an M16 in VietNam!!!!
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    I only have a 12ga. shotgun here.
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  3. #352
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    I am starting to wonder if any expats that currently live in the Dr actually enjoy living here. With all these warning and precautions about crime one start to wonder should I even visit the D.R. again.

    When I lived in the Dr a long time ago. I would just rent a car at the S.D. airport and head out to san pedro de macoris, juan dolio and the romana without even thinking about it. The most things to worry back then was the traffic cops stopping you for la mordida (bribes) and other issues of mainly traffic accidents but, crime was not a mayor issue back then, is it really that bad now that you can not even drive from juan dolio to the capital anymore without fearing being mugged or killed???

    I was speaking to a friend recently who even told me people are scared to go out of the house pass 9.00 pm???
    Last edited by DOC1727; 08-14-2012 at 09:36 PM.

  4. #353
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    I feel as safe in the Dominican Republic as I would in an American ghetto or "hood." The safety level is the same. Something could always happen. I should always be ready. The ladrones and delincuentes wont see anything happen to them if they do not start with me because I am always ready for them just like I would in the USA in a bad neighborhood. Something will be guaranteed to happen if they try something on me. The more precautions I take; the less of a chance that I will be a victim. Even though, every morning, I know that something may happen and prepare my mind for it. And I love everything about the DR with a huge passion and being there just like I love being in the American ghettos and hoods.

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  6. #354
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    I have noticed that certain people are more likely to be robbed than others. Almost anyone I talk to that has been robbed it is never their first time. 99% of people that I talk to have never been robbed or had anything happen to them. But the ones that have had something happen to them, always comes in multiple instances.

    My theory is these peoples behavior causes them to be targets. Major triggers are.. pulling out large wads of cash (no matter where you are, except home of course) , talking about big purchases or bragging, having an extremely routine lifestyle that certain shady people can figure out to make you a target. Most incidents are cases of breaches of trust such as a watchiman tells his brother about something in your house, or your maid tells her sister. The way things work here is those people might be innocent, but word spreads like wildfire, and it is exaggerated. You might have a brand new iphone that you bought, your maid sees it, tells her sister she loves your new iphone blah blah, then your maids sister tells her husband that the family where Ana works has a bunch of new iphones, then the husband goes and tells his drinking buddies that your family imports iphones and has 100s in the house.. bla bla bla. By the time the wrong tiguere hears about it, he's ready to do anything to get a piece of what you have. Thieves are few in this country, but the way word spreads they know everything about you very quickly.

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  8. #355
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    Outstanding details is found in these types of boards. Many thanks fellas.

  9. #356
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    There is a term called situational awareness. Its really self explanatory. Know your surroundings. Thieves pick up on body language. A bag hanging off the shoulder, money bulging out of your pocket, a loud drunk flashing cash are all invitations to a thief. Domestic help as stated by Sayonara should have no intelligence of your cash withdrawl schedule or your reserves. Even if they are honest the grapevine news gets around faster than media. If someone is coming to work in your house have portable valuables locked up or hidden.
    Most theft can be avoided I got pinched a couple of times for my Ray Bans. It was my own fault too many cervezas.

    If you have a guard dog let people think he will bite even if he does not. If you are have a firearm its not for show dont let anyone see it until you are emptying it.
    Thieves are generally predators. They don't want to get hurt, they don't want to get arrested. Keeping yourself and your possessions squared away will prevent 99% of theft.

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  11. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOC1727 View Post
    I am starting to wonder if any expats that currently live in the Dr actually enjoy living here. With all these warning and precautions about crime one start to wonder should I even visit the D.R. again.

    When I lived in the Dr a long time ago. I would just rent a car at the S.D. airport and head out to san pedro de macoris, juan dolio and the romana without even thinking about it. The most things to worry back then was the traffic cops stopping you for la mordida (bribes) and other issues of mainly traffic accidents but, crime was not a mayor issue back then, is it really that bad now that you can not even drive from juan dolio to the capital anymore without fearing being mugged or killed???

    I was speaking to a friend recently who even told me people are scared to go out of the house pass 9.00 pm???
    It's a tough question to answer. There was not as much tourism before as there's now. There weren't as many expats as there are now. So the number of stories has increased. Also, every time an expat or tourist gets robbed, it's a big deal. You could take all the precautions you want and get ambushed by a handful of men regardless of how safe you are or how many guns you carry.

    Driving at night isn't recommended because of the roads quality and poor lighting. Any dark remote place in any country isn't going to be safe.

  12. #358
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    Let's play it out here first, and then I'll construct a sticky from that (and fix my English!) and all can give their input on the sticky.




  13. #359
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    Recently i spent 15 days vacation in DR driving a nice
    rental SUV, didn't have any problems.

    JJ

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  15. #360
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    Reading this thread, there is a lot of good advice that should be heeded. Here are some things I have learned over the past nine years living in Santo Domingo..... Some may sound a little harsh, but this can be a harsh place.

    Things are only going to get worst between now and Christmas. Expect more interactions with police shaking you down as well as thefts in general.

    Driving at night... Know where you are going and how to get there. Having said that, back roads are more secure in general than the main drags because that is where ambushes would most likely occur. At night, I stop/slow down for greens, and slow down and go on reds. Try to time lights so you do not come to a full stop and avoid stopping without having a means to go forward to get away.

    Always drive/ride with the windows shut and the doors locked.

    At large events such as concerts it is a very likely possibility your pockets will be tested for their contents. Do not assume stashing in your front pockets or zippered pockets will be effective. Most pick pockets are women since they have small hands. They do not care if you catch them with their hands in your pockets. They are usually working with 3 guys the size of coke machines nearby. Do what the Dominicans do. Most bring their cedular (ID), a few hundred pesos, and a cellular (phone), which is in their hand the entire time.

    If you are visiting, the item you want to value the most is your passport. However your approach it, you should have a specific strategy to protect it. Whether you carry it or leave it secured where you are staying is a decision you have to make. Before I was a resident, I would never surrender my passport to any "official" on the street even if I had it. I would tell them, if they asked, is that I have it secured at the place I was staying.

    A handbag, camera bag, shoulder sling, or backpack can be used against you. They will run up from behind, grab it, and swing you to the ground.

    I would add to the other good advice given here is when walking at night use headlights to illuminate you as much as possible. You want to make the distance between you and the dark corner or wall they will want to get you to as far as possible. Just remember you are as much at risk here as a pedestrian as you are as a victim of violence.

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