As we approach the end of the year, crime always picks up. Following is information about a recent crime spree in Boquete.
We need to alert all residents of Alto Boquete about the confirmed activity of a burglary gang operating in Alto Boquete. They have reportedly been responsible for more than 6 burglaries of locally owned homes in the area. The police are investigating, but need your help.
If you see anything out of the ordinary, please immediately call Rodny Direct. We will forward your information to the police.
The gang is suspected to be using a pickup truck with gardening equipment in the back. We believe that they are using this as a cover for casing houses to be burglarized. If you see a suspicious truck, or are approached by someone offering gardening services, or anything else suspicious, take a picture of the truck and the license plate. Email or Whatsapp it to Rodny Direct immediately. Call if you need help sending your pictures.
In particular, you need to get cedulas from any worker who comes on your property. Again, just take a picture of the cedula with your phone. If you are uncomfortable asking for cedulas, please call Rodny and he will get the information for you. Be alert to look for tattoos, which may indicate gang affiliation. This is very important.
Thanks in advance for your help! Alert citizens have broken many cases like this in the past.
I have been meaning to post the following photo for some time.
To reduce crime in the night hours, the shopping center, in front of Super Market Rey, has closed off the back parking area to prevent it from being used by thieves to scout potential victims. The back area is now closed for parking from 9:30 PM until 9:30 AM.
I just received the following email
Just wanted to let everyone know about a home invasion that happened three weeks ago, Wednesday at a cattle farm in the Sortova area North of Concepcion. The victims were Panamanian locals, not expats.
The home invasion happened around 1:30-2:00am. The five male intruders entered through a window. None of the windows on the house have security bars, which made it easy for them to enter. The family never new anyone was in their house until the intruders got them out of bed. All the intruders wore masks and gloves, and were armed with guns. The family was tied up with their eyes covered. The intruders ate the families food, took $200.00 and a cell phone. One of the intruders told the family that they were lost, and that is how that happened onto their home. At this point, all five of the intruders put the family into the family pick-up. All seven adults and two small children road in the cab with one of the intruders driving. The guy was driving like a bat out of hell and hit a cow in the road, but not bad enough to disable the vehicle. At this point, the mother took off her mask and sad what happened. She was told they hit a cow and to put her mask back on, but one of the other intruders told her she didn’t have to. Apparently the intruders were being friendly; they even went as far as telling the family they should have had bars on their windows and a mean dog to deter criminals. While they were driving down the highway towards David, a PNP vehicle passed them. They finally stopped some where on the South-side of David, and the gang got out of the truck. Because the pick-up was almost out of fuel, one of the intruders gave $40.00 back to the Father, out of the $200.00 they had take, to pay for gas so the family could get back home. Then the family was told not to say anything to the police, or they knew where they lived.
The family did not go to the police. Not so much, as for fear of their lives, but because they don’t believe the police would do anything. Many locals have been robbed. Many times more than Expats, but don’t report it.
Two things ironic about this incident are that this family had been told repeatedly that they needed to put bars on their windows by multiple family members. In addition, yesterday the father came home and caught a burglar trying to steal their television. After all they had gone through, they still hadn’t put bars on the windows. It’s now a priority.
My advise; increase physical security measures on your property and start a Neighborhood Watch program where you live.
I mentioned the other day about another home invasion in David. I mentioned that the fellow at the hospital information desk did not know the whereabouts of the individual I was asking about other than knowing he had been in the emergency area.
I know the individual for many years and I wrote him. I am including his replay.
Hi Don Ray,
I spent from 3 AM Friday until 7 AM Sat. all in the Emergency Room. I have 4 cracked (They say broken) ribs. They wanted to hold me overnight to make sure there was no internal bleeding and that I had not punctured a lung. The guy had my ankles bound. He pushed me and I fell against the dining room table. I am okay as long as I am standing or lying down. It is the getting up or getting down that hurts.
I made a report at the police office before I went to the hospital. A pair of officers from DGI came to interview me. Two other pair of officers came to visit too. I have the case number and email address and phone of the guy who did the translating. The one good thing that happen is the bad guys did not take my passport
My landlord lady took great care She took me there and checked me out. She paid the hospital bill. She even paid the pain medication. The landlord even had the handyman change out my locks on Sunday. We think some how they had a key. There was no forced entry.
The emotional damage is a bit hard to handle.
My friends around here are watching after me. It will just take 2-3 months for the ribs to heal at my age. I had a cracked rib before years ago.
I am doing okay. Thanks for asking.
While I was waiting for Marion to finish a laboratory test last week, I started thinking about some of the recent discussions on some of the local forums.
Entirely too many people are moving to Panamá with no plan for their healthcare. This really concerns me.
They my be ignorant about Medicare not covering them in Panama. They may think their health is good and they don’t need insurance. They may not have money for insurance and think healthcare in Panama is cheap. They may think the country healthcare system won’t turn them away.
Let’s consider these thoughts.
First people need to understand that Medicare is not valid outside of the USA. If that is their plan, then they are not covered. They will not be admitted to any private hospital in case of emergency without providing proof of payment, often $4,000 dollars or more for admittance.
One should never think that good health is a reason not to have insurance coverage. Look are the increase in home invasions sending people to the hospital. Home invasions, automobile accidents, being in the wrong place at wrong time. Many things can send you to a hospital.
Since I moved here the private hospitals are becoming more insistent on proof of payment prior to admission. The minimum I have heard was $4,000 and normally it is $5,000 or more and depending on what the hospital expects the total care to be, it may request a payment plan. Continue reading Pardon my Rant
The following was distributed by Boquete News and was a member alert from Rodney Direct. Home invasions are continuing in Chiriquí.
Jan. 8, 2016
To: Released with permission to News Boquete
We have an early, unconfirmed but authoritative report on the shooting of Richard Moore in his home in upper Volcancito on Wednesday morning:
At approximately 10:30 in the morning on Wednesday, January 6, Richard Moore was preparing to take a shower when he heard noises on his terrace. His wife was away at a class, and he was alone in the house. He went into the living room (naked) and saw 3 black men on his terrace…with a gun. He turned to run away and they shot 9 times, hitting him once in the back shoulder and once in his ankle. They entered the house and demanded he open his safe, which he did. They took the contents of the safe and other items such as Kindles and laptops. They then tied him up and left the house. His wife returned to find him tied up on the floor and bleeding. He underwent surgery on Thursday for 6 1/2 hours to repair his ankle. A $5,000 deposit was demanded by Chiriqui Hospital before they would admit him. The police responded and report there is lots of evidence, including fingerprints.
We wish Richard a speedy recovery and we will keep you up to date as new information becomes available.
Any questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
The following was posted on the Volcan Yahoo Group.
There is a meeting with the press and officials scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the Cancha( the big cover) in Cuesta De Piedra. 12 km below Volcan.
Please show up and offer your support towards changing things so that the ladrones-crooks have to pay consequences for their actions.
There have been a series of robberies in Cuesta de Piedra lately. ( among many other neighborhoods in Panama)
A few days ago another was in the process when it was foiled by the owner’s workers. Several of the community responded quickly and were able to catch one of the robbers who ran on foot and was subdued. 3 others fled in a vehicle and escaped even though a neighbor parked his car across the road. The fleeing vehicle when off road through rough terrain and back onto the road and fled.
The police DIJ responded in force and later in the evening, again with the tip of a neighbor, caught the other 3.
The recently formed neighborhood watch group is working and producing results despite all the naysayers.
After a couple days the alleged criminals were released. The case, however, continues to stay open.
The alleged criminals returned to Cuesta de Piedra last night and again the Police and DIJ responded to protect the victim and to look for the accused who allegedly brought a total of 8 associates with them.
Thus, a meeting has been called for Thursday afternoon with media presence and officials in order to address this grave shortfall in the laws surrounding criminals.
PEOPLE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF GETTING ROBBED OR OTHERWISE AND HAVING THE PERPS GET FREED ON TECHNICALITIES OR OTHERWISE.
PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT THIS MEETING AND HERE INFORMATION DIRECTLY ON HOW THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. THIS IS NOT A DEMONSTRATION BUT RATHER A MEETING AND YOUR ATTENDANCE IS REALLY NEEDED TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE FOR ALL OF US.
THOSE OF YOU WHO SPEAK SPANISH AND CAN BRING ANY AND ALL OF YOUR LOCAL FRIENDS AND FAMILIES, PLEASE DO SO. PLEASE COME TO ATTEND SO WE CAN ALL BE EDUCATED!!!!
ANY OF YOU WHO HAVE MEDIA CONTACTS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET THEM TO THE MEETING!!! WE ARE HAVING CHAIRS BROUGHT IN, BUT, IF YOU HAVE SOME YOU CAN EASILY BRING DOWN FOR YOURSELVES PLEASE DO SO.
I received this for posting:
We are pleased to report that we gathered about 250 signatures from both Panamanians (who easily read and signed the questionnaire) and Expats, who signed a separate petition about changing juvenile laws here in Panama – punishment consistent with the crime. Many thanks to the volunteers – Marion Torgany, Carmen Restrepo, Norma Humphries, Bob Gregory and Tom from Alto a crimen, who gave their time to collect information. If anyone still wants to sign this petition you can stop in at Chiriqui Storage office; I will keep these papers until next week when the government is accessible. I plan on bringing the papers to Diputada Athena, and other government officials.
Donations for Marion Clamp added up to about $230.00; hopefully this can help a little with her hospital bill. You can still donate at the Chiriqui Storage office, weekdays between 10 and 3pm.
I should add that I had a donation of $250 sent to my PayPal account, that will be added to the CS donations.
You have my personal thanks for being interested in the efforts to bring more recognition to the crime situation in Chiriquí and across Panama and for the donations to Marion’s hospital account.
On today’s TeleMetro morning news the commentator was talking about the increase in violence in Panama. TeleMetro is one of the country’s most watched TV stations and the one Lilliam listens to every morning to know what is happening.
The commentator said that currently, Chiriquí is the most violent province in Panama. Let that soak in.
The bread basket of Panama, where the majority of all agricultural produce originates. The home of Boquete, listed in International Living as one of the best places to retire. Chiriquí is the most violent province in Panama.
You have most likely heard the old saying, that it is actions and not words that make a difference.
I have been thinking about that some as a result of the two recent meetings in Chiriquí. The one in David, attended by Panama’s President Varela and the one in Boquete, attended by the Panama’s Minister of Security, Rodolfo Aguilera.
I think there was a large show of new vehicles including off-road 4x4s, talk about increasing police force and other signs which implied action taken. Continue reading Chiriquí Is The Most Violent Province in Panama
There was a meeting today at the BCP in Boquete. It included a presentation by Rodolfo Aguilera (The Minister of Security for Panama) and was attended by Emigdio Walker Vasquez (Mayor of Boquete) and Juan Arauz (The Boquete police Chief).
For a synopsis of the meeting, click HERE.
I can see that some of the things that were presented at the last Warden’s meeting at the U.S. Embassy are being implemented.
It was mentioned, in today’s presentation, that some of the programs were were being used in New York, and if I remember right, our presentation at the Embassy was given by an ex-member to the New York police, who was working with Panama officials.
It is also important to note that today’s meeting followed President Varela’s meeting in David on related topics yesterday.
This is a beginning. Today there is talk. With tomorrow, I hope there will be more action. Some actions have already been taken with measured results.
From looking at the Boquete presentation and reading about yesterday’s meeting, I see a lot was aimed at drug trafficking. In the area of gangs it appears that they are working to offer gang members other opportunities and enticing them to leave.
What I didn’t see was an acknowledgment that crimes by minors need appropriate punishment.
I didn’t attend the meeting and that may have been covered.