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October 2002 Vol. 17, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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from the October, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Thumbs DownTheft from cars in Bonaire is way out of hand. Local thieves wait until you go under and plunder your car. Its worse now than last year. The car rental companies tell you to leave no valuables in your car and leave it unlocked, for fear that the thieves will break glass if you leave the doors locked. We followed that advice and had things stolen three times (old cheap Timex watches, a couple of grubby wet pairs of shorts, grubby T-shirts and a baseball cap not exactly a treasure trove). I intentionally wadded up my shorts and T-shirt and tossed them on the car floor in the dirt. The thieves took them anyway.

Everyone we talked to beach diving had a similar experience. More than a few vowed not to return. One group lost two cameras and four dive lights.

The powers that be in Bonaire need to hear the message. They are killing the golden goose. It wouldnt take too many busts to cut this problem back, but the local authorities are indifferent. The next time I go, I will buy the collision damage waiver on the rental car and lock the doors. If someone smashes the window, the rental car company will pay the damages. If the rental car companies have to pay for enough broken windows, maybe they will put pressure on the police to crack down. If there isnt some kind of crackdown, I worry about whether beach diving has a future in Bonaire.

Barry Clegg, Minneapolis, MN.

Editors note: one reader reported that a window replacement cost $587; with a $500 deductible you might still be out-of-pocket.

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