Marpi robbers strike again

Tourists fall prey to 3 robberies in 3 weeks

Robbers are becoming more brazen, this time blocking a car driven by two Asian tourists with their own car near Grotto and grabbing a purse and bag containing $1,500 cash and other items.

No one was injured in the robbery staged by three unidentified men on Monday night.

The incident is the third reported robbery case in Marpi in three weeks. All victims are tourists and women except for one.

In the latest case, the victims, ages 28 and 30 years old, lost their purse and bags containing $1,500 cash, one iPhone 7, and two passports, according to acting Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Jason Tarkong.

The two suspects were described similarly—about 5’5” to 5’7” tall, dark-skinned, skinny, with a crew-cut hairstyle. One was armed with a knife. One suspect was wearing a blue shirt, while the other was wearing a purple or maroon shirt.

The third suspect was described only as being dark-skinned and having curly hair. No other distinguishing marks were given.

The suspects’ vehicle was described as a silver/gray four-door sports utility vehicle with a dark tint.

Tarkong said the Marpi robbery occurred at 7pm; the victims reported the matter to police when they got back to their hotel. Tarkong said police responded at 8:15pm after receiving the call.

Police learned that the two tourists were sightseeing in Marpi and were driving their rental car from the Grotto dive spot when an SUV, driven by the robbers, followed them. The suspects’ vehicle passed the tourists’ car and blocked the road, causing the victims to stop their car.

The three suspects got down and surrounded the tourists’ car. The first suspect, armed with a knife, demanded money from the tourists. The two other suspects grabbed the victim’s purse and bags. The report did not indicate how many bags. The suspects then got back into their SUV and fled.

DPS and the NMI Crime Stoppers Program are seeking the public’s help for information about the robbers.

Last April 28 in the afternoon, two men, including one armed with a knife, robbed a 24-year-old Asian woman and her boyfriend of cash and other items at the Last Command Post.

Last May 1, two men armed with a knife and rifle robbed five Asian female tourists at Banzai Cliff of $1,200 cash and other items. The victims arrived in the area to take pictures at 6:30am in two cars—a yellow Camaro and a pink Mustang.

The suspects fled aboard a red Toyota car.

As of yesterday, no one has been arrested in the three robbery cases.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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