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My Saturday Morning Not So Excellent Adventure


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#1 Valli

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

Not sure if this is the right section for posting this, but here goes... I was out biking and doing my errands this morning, actually ran into Carey on 15th, she was in her car and we stopped and chatted for a few minutes. I then headed down Calle 5 to stop at a house I used to stay at to drop something off for some people staying there. I then proceeded down Calle 5 toward 65 with the idea of going to El Maharaj to purchase some fruit and some fresh squeezed juice. I was just at 60th, and once again - 2 guys (they were young) were on a moped and swiped my bag out of my bike basket. I had gotten in the habit of tying down my bag with a bungee cord, but for some reason, just didn't do that this time. Luckily, their "haul" consisted of a bottle of water, the plastic woven bag, a book in English on grieving, my bike lock, a bungee cord, small notebook and pen,and an old pair of prescription glasses, Thank goodness I leave the new glasses at the house. As well, my keys, phone and money were hidden on me and not visible.

Having said that, this was the second time this has happened to me and I am livid. I partially blame myself as I should have tied the bag and just got careless. But this is happening with more and more frequency. I wasn't hurt and they didn't try and knock me off my bike. At that particular time (about 10:30 a.m.), there was no one around except for one older man on a bike and I don't think he even saw what happened.

I also was able to get the license and make of the bike. My adrenalin was pumping and I kept repeating the license until I could stop and keyed it into my phone as a message, so I would have it saved.

I will be heading out to the police to file another report. I am getting far too familiar with this process. So again a reminder - please be aware, please be careful, please take extra precautions. If you are attending any of the parades or festivities over the next few days, there will be people out there more than willing to relieve you of your valuables.

I have calmed down somewhat now, but if I can prevent this from happening to someone else, it provides me with some comfort.
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Valli

#2 scubawoman

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

They are really getting bold doing it in broad daylight, especially when you would think there would be witnesses. I am glad you were not physically hurt, but am sorry for the emotional hurt you are goiung through. A friend brought me a "rape whistle"; you can get them on line and they are really loud. Guess it's time to wear that around our necks instead of our diamonds?
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#3 mstevens

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

The circumstances of my wife's muggingin the middle of the day last spring on her scooter (resulting in multiple injuries including fractures) were pretty similar to Valli's report: a couple of kids on a moto swooped from behind and tried to grab a bag (in this case an empty mesh shopping bag over her shoulder).
I can't imagine how a whistle would have made any difference at all.
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#4 2islandbums

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

I am truly sorry for anyone this happens to I hate that feeling of being violated. I am glad you were not hurt like the other poster mentioned.

I am not suggesting that anyone do this but it is a good story, maybe it will relieve the stress a little.

Years ago a buddy of mine had a paper route.
One of his regular very nice costumers started calling everyday complaining that he was not getting his paper.
My friend made sure the next day to put it on the porch, problem solved? NO WAY angery call the next time.No PAPER :angry:
So we watched the next day until...... We say the next door neighbor come and take the paper. :o (we put one in the door for the paying costumer) :D

Later that day we waited for the dogs to do their business put in a "special" paper along with the cage lining of a friends parrots and warned the paying costumer NOT to get the paper the next day.

We also included a note explaining that stealing is wrong and how he could get his very own paper delivered to his door and not have to cross the street so early in the morning. :P

So I guess you could carry a nice bag of poop and wait on the bad guys. :ph34r:
Be careful nice job on hiding the good stuff.
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#5 scubawoman

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

Of course, you are correct. But, it might help someone, sometime.
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#6 Charles

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:53 AM

This truly is an outrage! I'd be more than livid and if I was on the island now,

Yes Scubawoman, I can give you over $20,000 reasons/dollars why not to wear diamonds at dusk, at least not in Corpus Christi on 10th avenue behind, west of the church. For a pacifist approach, we could try to get Joan Baez to do a rewrite of her hit song, "Diamonds and Rust" and to reflect The Times They Are a-Changin', Joan could re-title the song "Diamonds At Dusk", but no longer in Cozumel. The last famous, activist folk singer we had on the island was run over and killed by Mr. Mega Gonzales in his speedboat.

It was probably luck and good fortune that Valli did not have her bag strapped down. It might have been more likely to have caused the bike to be pulled over which might have resulted in injuries like Dr Stevens' wife. Perhaps you want to carry nothing in bags of even minimal value and have them be break away if grabbed. If someone could devise a rat trap. One with sufficient power and strength to remove a finger or two. What could be more perfect than a "ratero" leaving behind a fingerprint at the crime scene, a fingerprint still a part of the finger. Maybe to more safely ride your bike, an industrial weight mop, with the handle strapped across your front basket, but better a long handled pruning saw with the blade serving as a sign to keep your distance.


Last month I read that the military was beginning patrols in some of the more problematic prone neighbourhoods. They were to travel in pairs or in groups of pairs. It a positive, good thing to have the military trying to take back the streets. It is a sad admission that law enforcement on the local, State or Federal level lack the effectiveness required.


It was three years ago that I barely missed witnessing a bag snatch in front of my place on Akumal, Colonos Cuzamil. My nice neighbour across the street was chatting over the fence with a friend who had stopped by on her bike. Two punks on a moto rounded the corner and grabbed the bag in the front basket just like Valli. The same Mayan style, multicoloured bag plastic shopping bag. She lost less than $50 pesos (which represented a full day's wage for her), but she lost all her IDs, her voters card, Plan Local and grocery store club point card etc. It was going to be a significant expense for her low income family, but a catch 22 of you need this card in order to get a replacement card for something else and there was a price for each ID, PLUS having to pay for the police report needed. This situation has existed for years in some parts of town, especially those more marginalised in society. Mayan women have long been targets, afraid to leave their homes after dark, risking losing their groceries trying to walk home after being dropped off by a bus. Whether you're separated from your $20,000 dollars worth of gold jewelry encrusted with diamonds or robbed of the $200 pesos of staples to feed your family for the week, the sense of violation and emotional trauma suffered is the same. The proportional monetary loss might be equal too.

Too many kind people deserve far better. And if someone, or some entity doesn't step up to bat, it will get worse and cause even more deteriorating economic suffering. Everyone is in the same boat. Maybe some people have far more comfortable seats, but the boat is leaking and if it sinks, they will all have to hope to swim.

Pay extra attention to your home security during Carnaval. A number of people that can afford it, have rent a cop security guards to have some watch over their homes while they're gone for the festivities. Even Sergio said to the business community that the police can't be everywhere, all the time and the commercial sector is going to have to provide more for their own security and defenses.
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#7 ccannon707

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

Oh Valli, I'm so sorry to read this and see you have been victimized AGAIN! I echo the sentiment that thank goodness you weren't yanked off your bike and therefore physically hurt as well. And good for you to have your valuable stuff not in the basket... you did foil them in that respect. Maybe put a towel or sweater on top of the bag? You know I walk most of the time and I've made a point now to make sure parked cars are between me and the street as well as carry my bag on the opposite shoulder, away from the street. Normally I don't carry cross-body bags but I guess it would be wise to get used to one. Hope your reporting of the offender's license plate helps catch these dirt-bags.
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...Christine

 

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#8 Valli

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

Many have requested that I post an update - so this is what I can now share:

The police were able to locate the registered owner of the moped involved, it had not been stolen. It actually belongs to the father of one of the kids involved, the other kid was a friend. Of course, everything was denied, the son said he was home all morning watching tv, and that his friend was babysitting. And of course, the parents were adamant that there is no way that their little angels would ever have done anything like what I described in my report. Interesting that I would have been able to conjur up a legitimate license plate number in my head, gave an accurate description of the make and condition of the moped, and had nothing better to do than take an hour and a half to file the report on an early Saturday evening. I was also able to provide a fair amount of detail, including the name brand of the bottle of water in my bag, the name of the designer on the glasses, the colour of the cleaning cloth in the eyeglass case, etc.
The police came right out and asked them what they did with the eyeglasses, the kid just said he didn't know what they were talking about.

I do have to say that the police treated me well and were far more attentive and interested as opposed to my previous encounter in dealing with a similar offense.

I guess the matter is closed, but maybe at least these punks are now on the police radar so to speak. And from what I understand, the police were not kind and gentle in their "interview" process.

So if anyone comes across a brown eyeglass case containing Anne Klein glasses, I am the rightful owner.
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Valli

#9 mexcelia

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

I'm so glad to see you went that extra mile to file this with the police, Valli. And, also happy to hear that you were treated well, and that they believed you. Hoping that those "little angels" will hear more from their parents after the police were involved. They had to have been surprised when the police showed up with so much info from you.

Also hope that these punks will begin to realize that many are Now paying attention to details like Valli did with the license plate number. Personally, I always wear my bag across my body, but, now I carry a defensive metal attachment on my key ring, and have pepper spray for when it's dark outside............ I know it sounds as if I'm dressed for war, but, in a way, it is war and I've already been mugged once (on Isla Mujeres, and was seriously injured and needed hospitalization). There is no way that you are responsible for what happened, Valli, and you know I believe that completely. But, for now, until something is pro-actively done about these recent activities I am going to try my best to be viewed on the streets as "too much trouble to mess with" by these punks. Oh, and when I get out there to Larry's place I'm going to trade my spray in for a whistle, heard those work well.............and safer for me. One last thing...........Paradise seems more costly these days, but I'm confident the Neighborhood Watch group and the additional police and military activities will help slow things down. And, Charles, as always, thank you for the additional information and insight.
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#10 mstevens

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

Personally, I always wear my bag across my body


On a bicycle or scooter, that might dissuade a criminal who pays attention or thinks ahead (which usually doesn't describe impulsive criminals who snatch bags), but doing that increases the risk of a crash if someone actually does tries to grab the bag.

On a moto, under the seat or on the floorboard is the proper place. On a bicycle, I'm not sure there's a great solution.
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#11 mexcelia

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

Oh, I walk almost everywhere, hence across the body.........the bag goes in the front basket under my bike chain lock (used as sort of a bungie cord) when I'm riding..........but, good points all!
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#12 jic811

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

It appears there is investigation, guilt discovered but NO discipline! That does NOT give them a reason too stop stealing!
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#13 Coz2wonder

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

It appears that the bicycle basket is the target.

Remove the target.

The reason I suggest that you remove the basket is because the perpetrator might assume that something is in the basket even if there isn't.
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#14 MarkC

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I said it on here within the last 2 years that Cozumel had a different feeling downtown than it did in years past... The whole time I was downtown after dark, I felt on edge and was constantly on guard that a thief was watching us. GFs purse was across her body and between us, my wallet in my front pocket... I heard some kids mumble something among themselves in spanish which I could not make out, but I am certain it was about us. I just donít see myself frequenting san miguel in future trips with the exception of going to the mega for groceries. other than that, itís the south end and the beach bars for this texas kid.
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#15 mstevens

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

We feel MUCH safer in downtown San Miguel then we ever did while living in Galveston...
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#16 mexcelia

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

And I feel way safer here than on Isla Mujeres..........but, that's just me........here, though, the police seem to be taking this seriously and have been walking the streets, riding around the areas most in need, and attended the Neighborhood Watch meetings in spite of their own difficulties, my hat is off to them!
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#17 ccannon707

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

Even though those little punks were not charged, it must have shook them and their parents up to be zeroed in on and questioned by the police. They might be thinking twice before pulling this kind of stupid stunt again. You did the right thing by filing the report, Valli. Thank you from all of us. Fighting back instead of cowering in silence is the only way to deal with bullies.
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...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

.· `·. ><((((º> .· `·. <º))))>< ,·. ..· `·. .· `·. <º))))>< .· `·.


#18 Valli

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

Thank you Paula for the information on the security whistle, I was able to get a ride and purchased it this morning. It is available at Cozumel Scuba Repair on Calle 1a entre 85y 90. It is priced at $7.95 US and I feel that at the minimum it may cause a distraction or deterrent. At least it makes me feel more comfortable.

As I don't have a vehicle while on the island, the bicycle is my main daily form of transportation, and I use the basket for many items, including groceries. I am getting a top made for the basket, but otherwise, I decided I don't want to stay here and remain behind a gate and be too frightened to venture out. As it is, I stopped solo evening walks a couple of years ago and if I am out at night and have no ride, I take a taxi, whereas in the past I would have walked. As well, I am changing my bike routes to include higher traffic areas so if I need to go to 65 or beyond, I can feel more comfortable.

I agree with MarkC that the downtown has a different feeling as compared to years past. I am seeing more groups of kids/young adults scoping out the area. But on a positive note,I am now noticing far more police and patrols, so let's hope that practice continues past carnival.

I still have a great deal of fondness for this island, and like others, it has become my second home as I continue to spend longer periods of time here. For the most part, I feel safe (maybe not as safe as in previous years/visits) and I am watching and assessing much more than in the past in places such as Chedraui, the beach, etc. Many of my friends who live in Cozumel either year around or a few months a year have had their homes burgled. And I read on another board about some jerk who is going around on roller skates or blades with a board whacking people across the head that are on mopeds and bikes and stealing what he can. That is just horrid and despicable.

If it gets to the point where it continues that there are no or few consequences if and when the perpetrators are caught, and if there are increased incidents such as what I have touched upon, I will have some serious and difficult decisions to make, but I hope it does not come to that, although I have to admit, I came close a couple of times.
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Valli

#19 QueenAngel

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:27 PM

I am so sorry to hear about this situation, and glad that you are safe, Valli. Since personal safety is now in jeopardy, the carefree complacency we once knew, is gone. Situational awareness must be ever vigilant. I would like to share this link to an article about defensive riding in NYC (but applies everywhere). It is a bit lengthy, but offers some good advice, especially the rear view mirror and air horn. Please be careful out there, my fellow riders, they are out to get you, every single one of them.
My link
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#20 MarkC

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

We feel MUCH safer in downtown San Miguel then we ever did while living in Galveston...


Last few times in G-town have been wonderful. It's not the same Galveston as in the 90s. How did they clean it up? The eliminated driving on the beaches in Galveston so the riff raff moved off to Crystal Beach... The once awesome Crystal Beach is overrun with scumbags and its pure mayhem...


I agree with MarkC that the downtown has a different feeling as compared to years past. I am seeing more groups of kids/young adults scoping out the area. But on a positive note,I am now noticing far more police and patrols, so let's hope that practice continues past carnival


Iím glad Iím not alone... lol... I still love CZ and I will still come there for vacay, I just wonít be as carefree as I was before if I am in town.
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ďCorona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, Iím havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...Ē




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