Potrerillos has no crimes to report however there was a dangerous armed robbery in a nearby town including a tragic automobile accident that claimed 5 lives. Also a foiled plot to overrun the Dolega Police Station by protesters.
On the night of 6-February-2012 in the Township of Dos Rios two individuals described as Panamanian men in their early teens committed an armed robbery. The incident occurred when the suspects entered a small family owned store and held the owners at gunpoint all the while robbing them of their daily receipts totaling $180, this according to the Dolega PD. Information provided indicates that the weapon used was a 38 caliber revolver in which one of the suspects brandished while the other ransacked the store looking for the cash. No suspect information was provided other that their gender, approximate age and Nationality.
A Disturbing Incident:
On the Date of 6-February-2012 a small mob of individuals described as a group Panamanian Nationals of Indian decent gathered at the Dolega Cemetery and were plotting to overrun and burn the Dolega Police Station. However their activities were discovered and the plot was squashed before the attack could be launched, this according to Station Commander Lieutenant Castillo. Additionally Lt. Castillo indicated that he ordered the Staff Officers to prepare to defend the Station and dispatched them to strategic positions in and around the Police Station as a precautionary measure. Luckily no attack or disturbance took place and the suspects dispersed without incident according to Lt. Castillo.
Public Safety Information:
On the date of 6-February-2012 at approximately 4-PM 5 Panamanian Nationals all in their mid twenties to early thirties lost their lives as a result of an auto accident in an outlying rural settlement neat Dolega. The incident occurred when the vehicle the 5 victims were travelling in described as a late model Yarris 4-door sedan left the road way near a bridge at a high rate of speed and impacted a large tree head on. Information provided indicates the driver and 4 of the 5 passengers were ejected from the mangled wreckage killing all of them, this according to Dolega Police officials.
Although not clear why the vehicle left the road way Police Investigators determined that none of the occupants were utilizing seat belts and also excessive speed and alcohol were contributing factors according to investigates.
It’s not enough to be a cautious driver in Panama, one has to constantly look out for other vehicle operators who may not be driving safely putting everyone at risk. In Potrerillos there are several outdoor drinking establishments that contribute to drunk drivers operating on our roads. This is especially true on the weekends typically after dark. If you reside in Potrerillos you are advised to avoid travelling during those dangerous times. Another example is the large volume of aluminum beer cans and bottles that I constantly find out on the road in front of my home that drivers throw out of their windows.
In another accident this time in Panama City an Unidentified American Citizen witnessed an incident in which a large truck operated by a Panamanian Driver struck a pedestrian as he was entering an overpass. The incident was captured on a dash board camera that the vehicle was equipped with. This type of tragic accident could happen to anyone and in Panama as the driver you are presumed guilty until proven innocent (if proven innocent).
If you are involved in an accident having a dash board camera could quite possibly make the difference in the preservation of you freedom and assignment of liability or lack thereof. Investing in this protective equipment is vital if you drive in Panama and there are venders in Panama City who sock automotive DVR’s.
A Heads Up:
Those of us who live in Potrerillos know that there is a large amount of road construction taking place throughout the main Via Boquete road including the grater Dolega area. Construction crews are now diverting vehicle traffic through some of the back roads in Dolega and these narrow roads go right through congested housing areas where visibility is extremely limited and pedestrians including children are everywhere. Please exercise an abundance of caution when traveling in these areas and most of all slow down!
One other thing to consider is that some of the areas that traffic has been diverted through are areas that can pose an security risk so you are advised to keep your windows up and doors locked at all times while traveling through those areas. Also be weary of fake road blocks designed to get you to stop so thieves can then attack and rob you. Never stop if something doesn’t look or feel right.
Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Facilitator