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                          Crime

    Most violent crime here is either drug-related or is related to family violence. The violent crime rate seems to be about on par with other United States urban areas. 
    Drug abuse, especially use of methamphetamine ("ice"), is a big problem, and results in a high level of theft, burglary, robbery etc.  It is one of the most debilitating problems on Guam. 
    Break-ins are extremely common, especially of cars. If you frequent beaches or hiking trails, you can expect to have your car broken into from time to time. It doesn't help to leave the car unlocked, because the thieves don't stop to check if the door is open; they just smash the window immediately. The best defence is to drive an ugly, old "Guam bomb," since fancy cars get hit more often than ugly old ones. You can also judge the relative safety of a parking area by the amount of broken car window glass on the ground. If you see a big pile of it, it's best to park elsewhere or leave someone behind to guard your vehicle.
 
    Car theft is also a big problem. Certain vehicles, such as Toyota trucks, are particularly popular among car thieves. The thieves take the stolen vehicles apart at "chop shops" and sell the parts. 
    
By far the biggest problem with crime here, however, is that the judicial system is essentially non-functional. There aren't enough police officers or employees in the Guam Prosecutor's office. If you report a crime, police will come and write it up, but that's as far as it will go. (No one has been prosecuted for shoplifting for many years.)  Most cases are dismissed by the Prosecutor's Office because their allotted time runs out before they can get to the cases. 
    Nevertheless, Guam is not a particularly dangerous place. Normal precautions generally suffice to keep people and property safe. 


by Brenna Lorenz and Mike Pulte.
 
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