ANA SECURITY ALERT – Phone Scams 06.20.19

Just as in the U.S, and Canada, citizens and vacationers in Mexico are targeted by telephone scammers. In Mexico, law enforcement reports that many of these criminals are incarcerated prisoners who run phone scams from jail. They prey on Mexican citizens and tourists. Some of these scams include virtual kidnappings, which can be very frightening, especially to parents of young children.

Although Mexican citizens make up the vast majority of targets, foreigners living or vacationing in Mexico are not without risk. Recently some residents of Amapas were the targets of such a scam. The caller had enough information about the residents and their home to sound credible at first.

They did the right thing by calling law enforcement and reporting the incident to both Mexican and U.S. authorities. Law enforcement in Mexico, and the U.S., takes these threats seriously and encourage everyone to report them immediately.

If you have cash and important documents in your home, keep in mind that some workers and service people may use the opportunity to be in your home as a chance to look for things of value in order to tip-off phone scammers that you may be a potential target. Be sure everyone who enters your home to work or provide a service is someone you know and authorize.

You can protect yourself by understanding that these callers are in fact scammers. If you are contacted by someone demanding money and acting in a threatening way, remain calm and try to gather as much information about the caller as you can before hanging up. Try and use caller ID to get the caller’s number. Then immediately report the incident by dialing 911. ANA can help you contact the police and the authorities in your home country.

If you know of anyone who has been the victim of such a scam, please ask them to contact ANA. We want to help law enforcement stop these criminals from preying on our community.

SECURITY FOLLOW UP 03.12.19

On Wednesday, March 6th, Sylvia Toy, Gene Mendoza, and Viviana Testón met with Misael Lopez, Comisario (Chief of Police) at Fusion Gourmet.

The conversation focused upon Amapas’ need for more assistance from police as evidenced by the latest criminal events in the area.

Police Chief Lopez agreed and he recommended the following actions:

Increase police presence during the night by the Tourism Police
A Special Squad is available that uses a navy uniform, helmet, and guns.
The police could use a more “heavy-handed” approach and target anyone walking on Hortensias and Gardenias during the specific hours of 1-6 a.m. This approach would apply to everyone – dog walkers, late-night party-goers, drivers, visitors, criminals, etc.
It would be a more aggressive approach but it would be widely communicated and understood by the criminal element.
Hold monthly meetings between ANA and the Chief of Police the first Wednesday of each month at 9 am.
Chief of Police Lopez would like to meet with the Private Security of ANA’s buildings so he can better educate and coordinate with them on how to prevent crime.
A security class is available with cost to train ANA members (focused on security personnel).

ANA’s Next Steps:

Inform ANA members of meeting and next steps, especially, police visibility and their actions to question people between 1 and 6 am.
ANA will collect and record all the incidents (date, time, location) of criminal activity in our area.
ANA members need to report criminal incidents to ANA so the database reflects the actual incidents in our colonia.
Schedule ANA assistant to attend security training sessions.
Attend and provide data to the Chief of Police every first Wednesday of the month.
Communicate with Chief of Police regarding criminal activities in Amapas area.
Maintain the close relationship ANA has developed with the police.
Encourage Patrol officers to stop in the ANA office for water and use of the bathroom.
Keep ANA neighbors informed.

ANA SECURITY ALERT

Four recent break ins have occurred in the Amapas neighborhood – Villa Tizoc, Cañada Romantica, Las Hortensias, and Bella Vista – each occurring in the very early morning hours.  
 
At Villa Tizoc the robber entered through an open door in the bedroom where the occupants were sleeping last Tuesday.  Small items (cell phone, lap top, etc.) and money were stolen.
 
Cañada Romantica – The perpetrator tried to open the apartment’s front entry door with some type of tool generally used by workers on Saturday around 4 am.  Something frightened the perpetrator away, because a greasy hand print was left on the stairway wall.  Nothing was taken.  
 
Las Hortensias – Two units were burglarized between 1 and 2 am on Saturday.   Credit cards were taken.
 
Bella Vista was a crime of opportunity at 5:50 am on Saturday.  A sliding glass door was left open and the thief easily found a purse with wallet, credit cards, checkbook, cash and a watch.  The discarded items were found at Costco. 
 
Ladies, we also need to be aware of an increase in purse snatchings all around the PV community.  Wearing the purse across the body makes it easier to keep close and more difficult to take away.
 
Everyone, please don’t put your electronic devices on a table, especially if seated outside.  Someone can easily come along and lift it and get away in the crowd.  
 
As ANA has shared these Security Alerts, some people are concerned about the increase in crime.  Is it only in our community?  What gives rise to crime?  What can ANA do?  
 
Regretfully, it is not only in our community.  Overall, there is an increase in crime in all neighborhoods.  Why?  What has become to our lovely peaceful village?  It is very easy to see that there’s a lot of growth and money in our town.  There are also more people associated with the growth that are not from PV.  They are following the work and the money.  ANA sends out the alerts to inform our members of what’s happening in our colonia so you don’t become the next victim.  These security alerts are not to frighten you, but to make you be aware.  
 
Recently we learned that even though many of us use a password on our different electronic devices, the robber can still make money from them.  The electronic devices commonly taken (phones, tablets, and laptops) are easily wiped clean and put back out on the market.  While your personal information is safe, the electronic device is sold to someone else for a lesser price than at the legitimate store.  
 
ANA’s Actions to Date:  On Thursday, February 21st ANA held a Security Meeting.  While all ANA members were invited, only six people attended.  At this meeting we shared our research and the opportunity for buildings to participate in a Private Security Pilot Plan.  We need at least six buildings to participate and to make this cost-sharing plan effective.  If interested and need more information, please contact Viviana Testón at admin@amapaspv.com. 
 
Can’t our ANA dues provide this service?  No.  It is cost-prohibitive for one organization or one building to assume.  That is why ANA looked at a cost-sharing plan.
 
What can ANA do?  ANA organized multiple meetings with the presidents of several buildings in the Amapas area.  We shared insights and ideas.  ANA conducted the research and development of the Private Security Pilot Plan.  The yearly ANA membership fee is not enough to cover the cost of private security which is why ANA developed a Private Security Pilot Plan so those buildings in a close geographical area could share the cost.
 
ANA has scheduled a meeting with the Chief of Police on Wednesday morning where we will be sharing our concerns and supporting data.
 
As owners in the Colonia Amapas, we must all assume responsibility for the safety of our own residences.  Stay safe, everyone. 

Last night Villas Loma Linda (VLL) had a break-in where the robber actually broke the door to get in. Four people were inside sleeping. The robber took a purse, wallet, with credit cards and cash, two cell phones, one bose sound system. The credit cards have been used four times already.
 
VLL has instituted much more stringent security measures, but still determined thieves broke down a door and took valuables.  
 
A common street – Hortensias has a common jungle.  The police were notified Thursday of suspicious characters in the neighborhood through the ANA WhatsApp group.
 
We need to work together to address these crimes.  They are becoming more brazen.  ANA has a good relationship with the police; however, that relationship is not sufficient to avert a crime.  
 
NEXT STEPS:

  1. ANA can help in getting all of us together to discuss possible solutions – extra lights, private security, additional wire, etc.. 
  2. ANA had already discussed a Q and A to focus on safety and security issues for early 2019.  
  3. Please make sure and take the extra steps to review safety and security measures with any visitors you might have to your building.  They are here in paradise for vacation and do not recognize the importance of the safety and security measures you have instituted.  While it may be a dull and boring talk to them, if it saves them from becoming victimized, then it is well worth it.  

Stay alert and stay safe.
Your ANA Board

Recent burglaries in the Hortensias and Gardenias areas have given rise to increased concerns about safety and security in Amapas. 
 
Please be advised to exercise more caution since many of us have welcomed the cooler weather and refreshing breezes with open doors and open windows.  However, in doing so, we have made the life of a thief that much easier.  Thieves want to sneak in and out quickly and bring little attention to themselves.  Yes, we’re in paradise, but a false sense of security may allow others to enter your private space and leave with some of your treasured items.  Please share these safety tips with your renters, as well.  They are the most vulnerable and need to be the most aware.  
 
Safety Tips:
  • Keep doors locked at all times – even when home.
  • Insert PVC tubing or metal bar in between the middle track of a sliding glass door.
  • Older sliding glass doors need an anti-lift device, as well.
  • Use a timer to set lights to go off and on during the night.  Random lights are even better so as to not create a schedule.  
  • Use exterior lighting or motion detectors to light up places where a burglar might hide.
  • Install alarm system and/or cameras.  
  • Don’t leave extra keys outside.  Give one to a neighbor instead.
  • Use drapes and blinds to obscure a potential intruder’s view.  They make it difficult to see which rooms hold high value items.
  • Keep your most valued items out of sight – TVs, stereos, jewelry, game systems, and other valuables.  Place out of line of sight.  Use a safe or put in a bank.
  • Make friends with your neighbors so they know a “suspicious” character when they see one.