Americans warned of new crime trends on New Providence

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State Department sends advisory to American Citizens living in the Bahamas

To: Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 1:51 PM
Subject: Message to American Citizen Residents and Travelers

Thursday, March 15, 2012
The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following message to advise U.S. citizens in The Bahamas of incidents related to vehicle accidents and robberies. U.S. citizens should be aware in order to plan accordingly.

There have been several recent reports in the local media of armed robberies on New Providence Island involving staged vehicle accidents as a ruse to rob the driver and passengers of their possessions.

According to media reports, in recent cases robbers have either hit or bumped the victim’s vehicle from behind or stopped quickly to cause an accident.

Once the cars are stopped, they will approach the driver with weapons in an attempt to rob the driver and passengers.

There is no indication that U.S. citizens are specifically being targeted for these crimes. However, the U.S. Embassy would like to remind U.S. citizens to be extra vigilant when involved in a vehicle accident and to keep windows and doors locked until you are able to assess the situation.

If you feel threatened or believe it is not safe to get out of your car, you should immediately call the police (919 or 911) or drive to the nearest police station. If you are being followed don’t go home or to your hotel. Either stay on the phone with the police and give them your location so they can provide assistance, or drive to the nearest police station or to the U.S. Embassy (42 Queen Street) depending on whichever is closer.

Preventive Measures:

* Keep at least 1-2 car lengths distance (20 feet) from the car in front of you to allow for an escape path for your car to drive around.

This also prevents a chain reaction accident in the event that you get

hit from behind and pushed into the car in front of you.

* Take pictures of the accident scene for your records.

Reminder:

Accidents that occur on private property are not investigated by the police unless there are injuries to the passengers. Do not expect the police to respond to accidents on private property unless you report that your car was hit intentionally in order to carry out a crime.

U.S. citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department’s travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located 42 Queen Street (across from the British Colonial Hilton Hotel), Nassau; telephone: 242-322-1181; after hours emergency telephone: 242-357-7004;

ACS unit fax: 242-356-7174; e-mail: ACSNassau@state.gov; web page:

http://nassau.usembassy.gov.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis

link.

U. S. Embassy

Nassau, Bahamas

Begin forwarded message:

Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 3:27 PM

Subject: Message to American Citizen Travelers – Air Passengers Advised to Arrive at LPIA Early

Friday, March 16, 2012

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following message to alert American

citizens in The Bahamas of increased airport delays during this busy

travel season.

The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) is advising all passengers

traveling from Nassau to the U.S. to arrive to the Lynden Pindling

International Airport (LPIA) three hours before their flight to allow

sufficient check in and processing time by US Customs during the busy

Spring Break travel season.

American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to

enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

so that the Department

of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP gives Americans

residing abroad access to information, messages and announcements from

the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Spring Break Travelers: The Bahamas receives the third largest number

of Spring Break visitors in the world. Please see our Spring Break

Safety Pamphlet

with tips on

how to have a safe Spring Break vacation.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line number in the Bahamas

is 919 or 911.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the U.S.

Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located

42 Queen Street (across from the British Colonial Hilton Hotel), Nassau;

telephone: 242-322-1181; after hours emergency telephone: 242-357-7004;

ACS unit fax: 242-356-7174; e-mail: ACSNassau@state.gov; web page:

http://nassau.usembassy.gov.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a

Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and

Crisis

link.

U. S. Embassy

Nassau, Bahamas