Car rentals vandalized at Point Udall. By PROVIDED
ST. CROIX — A wicked trend has been taking hold at the Point Udall Monument on St. Croix: vandals wait until visitors to the location park their vehicles and trek down the mountain as part of a hike tour. When the visitors — many of them tourists — return to their vehicles, which are usually rentals, they are greeted by broken windows, windshields, and other damage. Their items are also stolen.
This has happened several times, with the most recent incident occurring Friday when three vehicles of a local rental company were badly damaged. "The customers are very upset and will be telling other visitors to avoid Point Udall, which is one of the prettiest areas on St. Croix to visit," said a company representative.
The tourists affected by Friday's vandalism and theft were also accompanied by their children, who were disturbed by the incident.
Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor, who recently visited Point Udall, said the V.I.P.D. would patrol the area more often. He also stated that he would discuss with the leadership of the Dept. of Sports, Parks and Recreation the installation of surveillance devices to deter such criminal activity.
"I will communicate with [DSPR Commissioner Calvert White] regarding this matter, and try to figure out a way by which we could have at least some level of added surveillance and enhanced security measures up there," Mr. Velinor said.
He added, "It's an important stand for us to implement some surveillance equipment in the area and let folks know in addition that there will be law enforcement coming and checking on the area with some more frequency."
The commissioner said he visited the popular monument on Sunday, "just to get up there, see the area and get a little bit of fresh air."
St. Croix's Point Udall is the easternmost point by travel, not longitude, of the United States, including the U.S. territories. The monument was named for Stewart Udall in 1969, a former U.S. secretary of Interior under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
The monument offers panoramic views and boasts the most stunning sunrises on St. Croix. On any given day, especially Sunday mornings and on New Year's Day, the monument can be filled with people seeking tranquility.
A sundial named Millennium Monument was built at the top of Point Udall for the year 2000 celebration, as it also marked the azimuth of the first U.S. sunrise of that year.
U.S. territory Guam also has a Point Udall that marks the U.S.'s westernmost point by travel of the territorial United States.