I received the following from the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Facilitator.
There was another brutal assault and kidnapping to report near our area. On the date of 30-July-2012 at approximately 10:30-PM 2 individuals were assaulted, tied up, kidnapped and robbed on the Ruta Sur near Cordillera settlement. Attached is the actual message receive via Chiriqui Watch crime reporting web site, https://chiriqui.crowdmap.com
“Two Middle Eastern men were selling clothes from a van in Santa Marta (near the new road to Potrerillos from Cuesta) when they were assaulted and tied up around 10-11 p.m. The maleantes then drove the van to a deserted stretch of road a few miles away in Cordillera Abajo where they robbed the men of over $1K in cash among other things. They left the van there with the men tied up.”
Next, A New Burglary Case: Continue reading
I received the following from the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Facilitator:
Residents of Potrerillos may have noticed a recent increase in the number of Police Check Points in our area, this is due in part to an increase in the number of accidents involving intoxicated motor vehicle operators throughout Chiriqui Provence. The Police are getting fed up and are setting up additional check points to snare them. Please be courteous and thank them for their service.
Over the week end of 14-July-12 there was a single car accident below the village of Acequia. The incident occurred when a car driven by a Panamanian man from Potrerillos Abajo lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree knocking it down. Police investigators from Dolega determined that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the wreck.
The next item of Public Safety interest, Continue reading
I received the following from the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Facilitator to post.
Potrerillos has no crimes to report in our Township however there was a horrifying home invasion and kidnapping in Dolega, plus an attempted sexual assault in David.
On the Date of Sunday 15-June-2012 a Panamanian family were the victims of a brutal home invasion. The Incident occurred at about 10:30-PM in the township of Dolega when 3 masked men armed with 2 hand guns and a machete forced their way into the residence. Once inside the suspects savagely attacked and beat the husband and his wife before tying up and gagging them along with their 2 small children, this according to Police Officials from Dolega.
Information provided indicates that the perpetrators entered the newly constructed home that lacked window bars and other security features and quickly subdued the unsuspecting victims before burglarizing the house. After cleaning out the entire house of valuables the perpetrators kidnapped and forced the husband and wife at gunpoint into the family’s silver 4-door Nassan Navara pickup truck and fled the crime scene in the vehicle. The victims were later released in an unpopulated area of David and their truck was abandon nearby according to Police.
Although no information was provided about the disposition of the children it was assumed that they were left unharmed at the home. All three suspects are described as Panamanian Nationals between the ages of 18 to 25 with medium builds. Two of the individuals possessed light complexions described as white skinned and the third was described with a darker more traditional skin tone.
Officials are urging anyone with information related to this heinous crime to contact the National Police. It is also recommended to elevate your security posture as needed.
Next Case, this time in the City of David Continue reading
Potrerillos has seen a significant reduction in crime, this is largely due to a heavier Police presence and the re-opening of the Police Sub Station as well as an abundance of local employment opportunity. However there was a burglary of a local school and a case of theft from an American resident including reports of several automobile accidents.
On the date of 29-June-12 the Potrerillos Abajo School was targeted by thieves. The incident occurred during the hours of darkness when unknown individuals broke in and burglarized the equipment room were much of the schools valuables are securely stored. Information provided indicters that a perimeter fence was damaged when thieves cut their way through and entered the school grounds. Once inside they preceded to bust their way into the equipment storage room causing moderate damage to the structure, this according to the Dolega Police. No details were provided regarding the loss of any school property and no suspect information was provided. Continue reading
No crimes to report however there was an incident where an American resident was briefly detained by Police for investigation of lewd acts. Plus another close call in the intersection at the Potrerillos Park, also an update on the Potrerillos Police Substation including new Patrol Units assigned in our area to report.
On the date of 23-May-2012 a resident of Potrerillos Arriba was briefly detained by Police for formal identification and was served with a summons to appear before competent Authorities. The individual is described as an American Man 62 years old who has been in Panama approximately 6 months. The suspect’s alleged offence’s included public indecency and lewd acts perpetrated in the presence of children.
A Word of Caution!! Continue reading
Another American Residence was burglarized in Potereillos Arriba including several dangerous and disturbing incidences of armed robbery outside of our area. Plus an update on the new Police Complex proposed for Potrerillos. Also a theft incident in PC involving a Resident of David.
On the approximate date of 4-May-12 another North American residence in Potrerillos Arriba was burglarized. The victim Mr. Joseph Lapierre and his wife discovered that they had been ripped off by a local man of Panamanian origin who was employed and performing unspecified labor in their home. The victims noticed that several items of personal property had been stolen after the employed man finished and departed. The victims Mr. & Misses Lapierre lost several small high value items including her gold wedding ring, a portable CD player, computer components and a high quality Canon 35mm camera which was removed from its case. It wasn’t until after the suspected thief was gone that the victims discovered their items missing.
The victims were advised to file a criminal complaint with local Authorities and to be careful who they let into their home.
Armed Robberies: Continue reading
Potrerillos has no crimes to report however this is no time to let your guard down, please stay alert.
Some interesting news from our friends at the National Police. The National Police is implementing a new grid system which divides the whole of Panama into sectors. With that they are slowly moving towards more permanent assignments of Officers. This means that they will assign individual Officers to sectors permanently instead of regularly rotating them around. Permanent assignments will create better continuity which allows individual officers to be more effective in their areas of assignment. Hopefully we will receives a batch of dedicated Officers who will integrate into our communities and stay awhile. In the States Officers are required to live in the same community in which they serve, a practice that Panama slowly adopting.
According to the Police the new grid system or “sectors” as they are called will enhance the management of Police, Fire, EMS, Boarder Protection, Immigration, Health Department Education and just about every function of the Panamanian Government. In our area that includes the “District of Dolega we are assigned “Sector K-A-24”. This is important because if you are trying to describe where you are located to a “911” Operator in Panama City who is unfamiliar with “Potrerillos, District of Dolega” you can tell them “Sector K-A-24”. Continue reading
Yesterday, I needed to buy a couple batteries for my bathroom scales and was in front of PanaFoto right before it was scheduled to open.
While I was waiting, a Police wagon pulled up and parked across from PanaFoto and four policemen exited. While I waited for the doors to open, the officers stopped random young Panamanian men and asked for identification. With each, the document was given to one of the policemen that called on a police radio while inspecting the document.
I had the opinion that they were looking for a specific person. I was going to ask what was happening when the doors opened and I went into PanaFoto. When I left the store the police were gone.
I had forgotten about the police being at the PanaFoto corner of Plaza El Terronal until I read the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch post. I am convinced that there is much more crime going on around us that we never know about because it is not posted anywhere. Some is on the morning TV, but if you don’t speak Spanish, you most likely don’t listen to the local TV or radio.
Even a large part of the Gringo community seem to be reluctant to talk about crime in various areas. I don’t know if it is for fear that it will reduce property values in the areas having crime or what, but I believe that information is power. Identification of a problem is the only way to get a problem solved.
I would also like to solicit more usage of the Chiriquí Watch site for posting all crime in Chiriquí. If you know of something that should be entered and have difficulty understanding the site, please contact me and I will assist you.
Following is the latest Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Report. Click on the photo for a larger image.
Potrerillos has been quiet, however there was one minor incident where an American from Potrerillos was assaulted.
On the date of Sunday 8-APR-12 a 68 year old American Man who lives in Potrerillos Arriba was the victim of assault when he had a heated exchange with his neighbor who is described as a Local National. The incident occurred when the American Resident had allowed his pet birds to venture onto the neighbors property. The neighbor became enraged and confronted the American about his animals. Information provided indicates that the Local National neighbor lost his cool and struck the American man on the side of his head and grabbed his ears. The Local Man also supposedly threatened to further harm him if he didn’t control his animals, this according to the American victim. The victim also filed a criminal complaint with the Police in Dolega. The victim received no injuries.