Tag Archives: Chiriquí Neighborhood Watch

Wake Up Call

Let there be no doubt, bad things can happen when you are young and fearless and trusting. Natalie Ann Holloway disappeared in Aruba in 2005 and her body has never been found. She was young, fearless, trusting and in a foreign country.

Now Panama has its own mysterious disappearance of two Dutch girls. Boquete is becoming famous for the wrong reason. The following video is from a Holland news broadcast.

After further thought, youth has nothing to do with it. You only have to be fearless and trusting to become a victim. Maybe only trusting. Continue reading Wake Up Call

A Video Worth Watching

If you live in Panama, learning how to not become a victim is very important. The Bella Vista Policia produced a video that illustrates some items you should be aware of. It is in Spanish, but I do not think you will have any problem understanding it.

The bottom line is you have to pay attention. Know if there are suspicious people around. Don’t walk away from your car without immediately locking it. Don’t open your car if a suspicious person is approaching. Lock your car immediately when inside.

Realize that these advisories are what are being recommended for Panama City, but with the growth of David, it makes sense here as well.

Missing Girls in Boquete, Panama

HERE is a FaceBook page on the two girls.

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After not returning from their hike on Tuesday the 1st of April, 2014, both Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremer have been missing in the area of Boquete Panama. We are unable to get in contact with them and no one knows were they might be. If you know something about their current whereabouts or if you have seen Lisanne and/or Kris lately please let us know. How minor the details may seem everything can help us. Please post your feedback on this Facebook page or send us an email on info@lisannekris.com. Thank you very much. Martijn Froon, brother of Lisanne.

Chiriqui Watch Transition Time

UPDATE March 31, 2014: I have removed the Chiriquí Watch Tab from the tabs at the top of the screen. No one to this point has shown interest in administering and promoting the site.

In July of 2011, I set up Chiriqui Watch hoping that it would provide a medium that could be used to record incidents that affected everyone living in Chiriqui. Primarily I thought it would be a way of documenting and tracking crime.

My thought was that the more available online documentation, the better informed the province would be. Crime has definitely increased since I moved here and at the time I set it up there was no centralized location recording it.

My intention was that it would be a community resource and open to all to record what was happing in their area. It appears that either it was not promoted well enough, no one really saw a benefit in it or for what ever reason, it has not really gained the amount of use I had hoped for.

That being the case, I am either going to deactivate it or turn it over to some other interested party or parties. I will give it a couple weeks and if someone has an interest in taking it over, I will turn it over. If no interest is shown, I will deactivate it.

It was a worthwhile experiment, but I think it is time to change. HERE is the Chiriqui Watch website for possibly its last two weeks.

Adding More Security

Over the last couple years, we have upgraded our security in several ways, We started by adding bars to all windows, adding a fence, adding motion detection lights, adding internet connected cameras, and adding a new security front door.

Our most recent upgrade was a security system. I contacted Planet Telecom and had them do the installation. Planet Telecom was the same company that I had install my IP cameras. Alain Mulaire supervised both projects and once again, I am pleased with the job that was done.

Planet Telecom used the DSC product line. This is a well respected product line and can act as a stand alone system or connected to a monitored service.  You can buy cheaper systems, but you get what you pay for, and as I said in my camera install post, I am very particular with the individuals I allow to enter my house.

While I won’t describe my complete system, I will tell you that is 100% covered by backup batteries. Cutting the power to the house will not remove power to the camera system or the security system. In fact removing power will trigger an alert being sent to investigate the power interruption.

If you are planning on moving to Panama, security is one consideration you have to pay attention to. We live in good area of David and an apartment complex a couple blocks away has had cars burglarized at least four times on the pass few months.

A car alarm would not have prevented the car from being broken into, but it would have alerted the owners that the burglary was going on. I recommend installing a car alarm, if your car doesn’t already have one.

I have heard of people leaving Panama for a three month period only to return to find that their home was completely empty. Furniture was taken, appliances were taken, TVs and computers were taken, sinks and other plumbing was removed and even the wiring had been stripped from the walls.. If something has value in Panama, it will be a target.

One thing that newcomers to Panama don’t realize is that you are always being watched by someone. Neighbors know your schedule of coming and going. If you walk everyday at a certain time, it will be known.

If there is construction going on in your area, the workers can monitor your behavior. If you drive from Boquete to David every Thursday morning, it will be recorded. If you have a Wednesday bridge game, that leaves your house vulnerable for that period of time.

We lock all doors, even internal doors, when we go to bed. Our front entries and rear entries are locked 100% of the time, except when entering or leaving the house. Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean that you aren’t being watched for a potential burglary.

Robbery in Volcan

The following was posted on the Volcan Yahoo Group. This is a warning to be cautious all the time, but especially this time of year.

A WARNING
IMGP0030On Thursday evening, during the hours of 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Russ and Jaydene’s house on Estudiente Road, Volcan, was broken into. Russ and Jaydene had done everything right, a housesitter (who had gone out for an hour), bars on the windows, an alarm system and cameras. Unfortunately the alarm had not been turned on and the camera had been disconnected. The perpetrators most likely used a car jack to open the bars and gain access.

Please be aware that this is the season that burglaries become more prevalent. Before you leave your home, ensure that you do a double check on your house. Check that the windows are closed, all entrances are locked, alarm is set and cameras are in working order. Place all valuables in a safe place. If you see someone unusual in your neighborhood lurking about, write down a description of the individual or take a picture of the person. If there is an unusual car, write down the description and license plate. Also, if you have a routine, change it up a bit so if you are being watched they will not know when you are leaving or returning.

It is is obvious from this burglary that an individual or individuals were watching and aware that no one was home and they had the time to jump a 7′ concrete wall and use a jack to open the bars. JUST BE AWARE. If you are robbed or burglarized, please immediately call the Volcan Assistance Hotline at 6477-6662. Do Not clean up – wait until Azel or others come and take pictures of the incident and the police arrive.

If you would like more information on the Hotline, please call Azel Ames at 6449-7006 or Richard Kongable at 6448-1749.

Sorry About That

I need to apologize for the warning about the keyring tracking threat that I posted yesterday. My source was a local lawyer and he normally is a good source for crime happening in David.

Since the message I received, was in Spanish, I didn’t research it as well as I should have. Sorry about that!

However, crime is on the uptick in David and I think in other places in Chiriquí. I make no apology for trying to increase the awareness that you need to be vigilant, especially during this time of year.

The malls are going to be crazy from now until the end of the year. Technology is not required to monitor people making withdrawals from ATMs and following them with the intent of taking their money. Packages in the cars will also create invitations for opportunists.

I have noticed more security in Plaza Terronal recently and expect it to increase, the closer we get to Christmas.

In our neighborhood, all have secure houses. Many have alarms, some are monitored 24/7. Some have cameras and this block has a nighttime security guard. I do not know of any house on the block that doesn’t have a dog or dogs.

I am the only gringo on this block. That should tell you that the locals are investing in security and not just a paranoid gringo. Security is something that should not be ignored.

I will say that our block has very effective communication utilizing WhatsApp. Virtually nothing is going on without everyone being immediately notified.

Our block still has some construction going on and when there are workers coming and going there is always a higher risk of crime. Luckily, there iare not many more locations for construction here.

So, again, I apologize for the erroneous threat I posted yesterday. My intentions were well founded. My execution was flawed.

Theft Warning

I just received the following warning on our neighborhood watch WhatsApp. I have translated it as best as I can.

Keyring theft  was a hoax and removed. I don’t get taken often, but I did on that one. DRW

On a second item, a house a few blocks away from me was robbed at gunpoint around noon in the Terronal area. I just had a phone call from another neighbor about a block away who was returning home the same day and a group of young men were running on the street carrying a gun. When they saw her, they ran another direction.

With the Christmas season upon us, it is extremely important to be vigilant. Don’t leave anything of value visible in your car. If you see something suspicious, it may be worth a call to the police.