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Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

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Guelph, Canada
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Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

On Jan 3/13 while visiting the Sirenis Cocotal near Punta Cana

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my wife and I took a beach walk westward. This was recommended to us by the Sunquest tour operator - "the beaches are safe, take a walk down the beach, pack a lunch, spend the day". Hah!!! Not less that 200m west of the property 2 men came out of the bush wearing clothing over their faces brandishing long knives. They yelled at us in spanish, grabbed my wife's mini-purse which contained the room safe key and room key card and then forcibly removed both our wedding rings the only thing of value with us. I was cut by his nails digging into my finger as he yanked the somewhat tight ring off. After that they patted us down looking for items in our pockets and money belts under our tops - none of which we had. Fortunately they then ran off back into the bush.

We reported this to the hotel - the security guard was only concerned if this happened on the grounds or not. Back at reception the hotel manager met us and took the details. He was also kind enough to waive the 2000RD fee to drill open the safe and to refund the $50US deposit for the safe key. But their take on this was they had never had any problems like this before.

Noone offered to report this to the local authorities. And since our flight was in the morning I did not want to press that issue and be delayed for our departure.

We were glad to escape relatively unharmed but the experience means, for us at least, we will not return to DR. We would not have ventured off of the resort grounds if it had not been for the advice from the local tour operator. I realize hundreds of people walk the empty beach stretches between the resorts unmolested but for us the experience is a deal breaker.

So the only advice I can give is

- stay on the resort

- if you want to walk on unsupervised beaches take absolutely nothing with you

-- no cameras, rings, watches, money, credit cards

- travel in a larger group

- if confronted - let them have it. Getting knifed or beaten is not worth it.

Live and Learn

Kenosha WI.
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915 posts
36 reviews
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41. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Really sorry for you but if your at a remote resort its probably not a good idea to walk off by yourself we stayed in the Hotel zone Bavaro Princess and not to say it can't happen but with all the people on the beach it would be a lot safer glad that your OK

Morristown, New...
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31 reviews
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42. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

in response to #38 - many of us use iPads (or Kindles, Nooks, etc.) on the beach to read..... a common leisure time activity while on vacation.

ohio
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134 posts
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43. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

True about using Ipads as books. I guess the lesson is to not ever leave items unattended. Always have one person "guarding" anything valuable.

Guelph, Canada
2 posts
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44. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

In response to some of the questions:

It happened approx. 1/3 of the way from the Sirenis resort towards Excellence. And it was around 4pm. There was only one other couple on that stretch who passed us as my wife and I stopped to view the vista and a rainbow that was out over the water. When the couple disappeared around the bend in the shoreline that is when the robbers appeared. They knew this stretch of beach.

I do not hold the resort responsible as this could happen anywhere.

My main point is to be aware.

On a happier note we just returned from a good trip to the Yucatan area (We do not normally go south so frequently). And the rings are replaced. My wife likes to point out that while she may have lost the rings she got to keep the husband. LOL

Halifax, Canada
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2,416 posts
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45. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Thanks for the update.

Glad to hear you have replaced the rings and moved past this unfortunate experience.

Happy travels.

Waterloo, Canada
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550 posts
5 reviews
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46. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Hammock Manager... I love what your wife said about the incident.... It's sad to lose wedding rings but it would be sadder to lose one's spouse... all in perspective!!!

Winnipeg, Canada
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13,771 posts
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47. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Bravo to your wife.... happy travels

New York City, New...
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48. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Im sorry to hear what happened to you and I am glad the two of you are OK. I am heading to DR in April and I am gratefull for your advise. I have no intention on leaving the resort grounds and what happened to you could of happened anywhere.

Brampton, Canada
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15 posts
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49. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Not sure if this is your first trip to Punta Cana?

When you walk on the beach is usual to be approached by one or two locals with a kind of " sword" offering you a fresh coconut...

Nothing new or dangerous...

Walk on that area for 4-5 years....

I strongly believe that you were approached by two individuals looking to get a 1$ bill or two .....and your phobia took over....

Ottawa, Canada
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1,411 posts
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50. Re: Robbed on the Beach - near Sirenis Cocotal

Lesk,

Are you joking or what. They got robbed not approached with someone with a sword. You have a weird sense of humour.