Published On: Fri, Dec 4th, 2020

Police force intensifying investigation into car theft ring

PHILIPSBURG — The Police of Sint Maarten (KPSM) has been continuously working towards putting a halt  to the increase in car thefts taking place on both sides of the island.

A meeting between KPSM and our French counterparts was held last week to discuss  the vehicles that had been previously seized by KPSM over the past days but were reported stolen via the French side.

Law enforcements from both sides of the island have intensifying controls on all vehicles. A team consisting of several specialized officers has been put together to carry specific tasks to, conduct controls at various locations across the island, in hopes to retrieve vehicles suspected of being stolen.

Stolen red Kia Pikante
During one of these checks, that took place in the vicinity of Dutch Quarter on December 2nd, 2020, around 2:30pm, the officers stopped a driver of a red Kia Picante. It appeared that the vehicle VIN number had been tampered with and the vehicle could possibly be among one of these that had been reported stolen. The driver with the initials R.M. could not give a proper account of where the vehicle was obtained. As a result he was arrested and taken to the Philipsburg police station where is being held for questioning.

How to avoid buying stolen vehicles
It’s imperative that the Police Force of Sint Maarten informs the public how to avoid buying motor vehicles that can be potentially stolen. Many of these stolen vehicles are being resold at a price way below the actual value of the vehicle. Some buyers of these vehicles have no idea that these vehicles were stolen until it is too late. At which point they will be at a double disadvantage because the vehicle will be confiscated, they will be arrested, as well as their monies will be a loss to them.

In order to avoid this situation; 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 second hand 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).

If you are still unsure about a purchase, take the vehicle to a authorized car dealership on the island and have them cross reference the VIN number of the vehicle with the owner’s information.

The Sint Maarten Police Force will continue to work tirelessly to prevent cars theft but it is only with the help of the community can we stop the circulation of stolen vehicles.