SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Police of Sint Maarten is still dealing with the phenomenon of “vehicle theft” that is taking place on island over the last months. After a recent analysis that was carried out by the police department, it was uncovered that there is still a large number of vehicles being reported stolen on both sides of the island.
During the Covid-19 epidemic, a de-escalation plan was drawn up an implemented. In this plan the reduction of car thefts was taken up and executed by the all law enforcement agencies. During the implementation Phases of the plan, several vehicles were stopped and controlled.
Eight persons were arrested and incarcerated for either dealing with or being in possession of stolen vehicles. Linked to these arrests, the detective department also confiscated ten (10) cars, believed to have been stolen. The police are putting, buyers and sellers of second had vehicles on notice that these types of controls will intensify in the near future.
The main reason for sending out this notice is to inform the public how to avoid buying a motor vehicle that may have been reported stolen. Many of these stolen vehicles were resold at a price below the actual value of the vehicle. Some buyers of these vehicles have no idea that these vehicles were stolen until later during a police investigation.
Secondly the notice is to help protect the innocent buyer who intends to purchase a vehicle not knowing it is stolen and might stand a great chance in losing all rights to that vehicle and never having his or her hard earned money refunded.
In order to avoid that innocent persons comes in contact with the police or the justice system, the public should take note of the following before purchasing a second-hand vehicle.
- The buyer must never make a financial transfer, to buy for a vehicle without getting a signed and completed "Bill Of Sale" from the seller. (Buyer beware)
- Buyer should request from seller all underlying documents that go with the vehicle that is being purchased.
Please note, the documents that should accompany the Bill of Sale when acquiring a secondhand vehicle are.
- A copy of Seller’s ID (driver’s license/ID card or Passport)
- The buyer’s valid driver’s license (for verification)
- A copy the vehicle’s last insurance policy (for verification)
- A copy of the vehicle’s last inspection card (for verification)
- Or the original Carte de Grise (if being purchased from someone on the French Side)
- Check the VIN and engine number. (if tampered with)
The police of Sint Maarten would also like to advices the public who are about to purchase a second hand vehicle , is to have the VIN number of the vehicle checked by one of the authorized car Dealers on the island, before proceeding with the financial transaction.
Authorized dealers on Sint Maarten are:
- Real Auto’s,
- Caribbean Auto,
- Saint Martin Cars
- First Auto SXM,