I received the following from the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch & Public Safety Facilitator.
Criminal Activity Report:
There have been several incidents of burglary including an attempted burglary which resulted in a beat down of an American Citizen plus a theft at the David Airport and the detention of suspicious individuals by Police in the EL Terronal Mall parking lot.
On 21-Nov-12 a home occupied by an American man located in the village of Santa Rita was targeted by thieves. The incident occurred when a lone suspect described as a Panamanian male approximately 18 to 22 years old attempted to unlawfully enter the private dwelling of the victim described as an American man of retirement age. The American heard the punk trying to gain entry when the American confronted the thief who responded by attacking him with a shovel that he was useing to bash the door, this according to Officials for Dolega PD.
Information provided indicates the perpetrator made his getaway through an adjoining property where a vehicle was waiting for him. No items of personal property were reported stolen however the victim did suffered some cuts and bruising on his forearms as he fought off the attack.
On 18-Nov-12 a report was received in the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Office indicating that a member of the Expatriate Community located in Potrerillos Arriba was the victim of burglary when his or her car was broke into while parked in front of the house. The incident reportedly occurred when an unknown suspect or suspects broke out the window and stole what was described as a lap top computer along with the cars stereo according to Police. The theft went undetected until the victim reunited to the car the next morning and discovered the missing items as well as the broken glass. The victims identity was not provided but it is believed that he or she although a member of the Expat Community was not American.
On the Date of 29-Oct-12 a Canadian couple described as husband and wife were ripped off at the David Airport within 30 minutes of their arrival. The incident occurred when an unknown individual stole a medium size camera bag containing a professional quality SLR digital camera along with a series of interchangeable lenses along and a wide range of accessories. According to victim testimony the theft occurred when they were momentarily distracted while loading baggage into the trunk of the rental car when someone crept up on their location undetected and quietly snatched the camera bag out from the back seat of the open car door. The victims were no more than 48 inches away from their property when it vanished. Most notable was the fact that this incident occurred in broad day light in a highly populated area of the car rental staging area full of people but not one person saw anything, their losses exceeded $2000.
Now to El Terronal Mall,
Approximately three weeks ago two individuals described as Panamanian Nationals were detained by members of the National Police when it was discovered that they were conducting surveillance of customers moving about in the parking lot. Information provided indicates that the Mall Security Staff were conducting counter surveillance and observed what was discribed as a suspicious vehicle occupied by two individuals who were reportedly studying the movements of customers in the parking area. According to the Security Staff the David Police were called and quickly responded to the location capturing the suspects who were detained for formal identification and interrogation.
Additionally it was revealed that the suspect vehicle was parked in the mid section parking rows and was backed into the stall so as to allow the suspects to conduct surveillance. As a result of this latest incident the Mall Management is no longer allowing any vehicles to be backed into parking stalls. If you park in the Mall parking lot you are now required to pull in facing forward and will not be allowed to back in. It was indicated that Police will be issuing parking tickets for unlawfully parking the wrong way, you are now warned!!
Now Intel from the National Police,
A National Police press release reviled that Chiriqui Province and specifically David had for the first time in history broke the record with the most vehicular accidents, DUI’s, speeding and other traffic violations during this month of November exceeding Panama City’s statistics. According to the Police Officials they have received orders to step up traffic enforcement activities including a doubling of fines for speeding in areas populated by pedestrians including school children.
It is recommended that you allow a little more time for your daily travels by car, slow down and watch for those who don’t watch out for themselves. A perfect example was the other night when I made a trip to David after dark to pick my wife and came upon a group of teenagers who were waking shoulder to shoulder in the darkness on the road way consuming about a third of my travel lane. I was unable to see them until the last moment when I had swerve sharply to keep from hitting them. Driving is by far the most hazardous thing you will do in Panama.
Please be extraordinarily carful and always remember to be polite to all the professional Officers of the National Police and thank them for their service at every opportunity!
Most of you may have noticed that the Potrerillos Sub Station is back open and manned during day time hours. The new Officer working at the station is a temporary measure in response to the an alarming increase in drunken motor vehicle operators who saturate our roads according to Officials from Dolega PD. The new Officer is Sergeant Bettia from David and is assigned to the Sub Station from Monday through Friday 9-AM to 5-PM. He is a highly motivated Officer who just received a promotion for superior performance and is eager to protect and serve all of us. He can be reached @ 6738-9333 during normal business hours, feel free to stop in and thank him for his service to our community.
Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch & Public Safety Facilitator