Don Williams said...
Ferfal, a news report from here in the USA:
"GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A 4-year-old boy abducted by masked men from a Mableton trailer park was reunited with his mother Thursday night.
Christian Guevera was found safe and sound at an apartment complex in Gwinnett County Thursday afternoon. Gwinnett County's SWAT team went to the Madison Ridge Apartments at 1121 Indian Trail after US Marshals received information the child was at the location. ...
...The boy's mother told police that two men wearing ski masks tasered her, tied her up and took the child Thursday morning....
...11Alive's Jaye Watson talked to the boy's grandfather, who said the two men who took the child demanded $1,000 to return the child.
Another relative told reporters the boy's father died in a motor vehicle crash and the mother recently received an insurance settlement. The relative said the mother recently started dating another man and that boyfriend told the suspects about the inheritance."
February 4, 2010 9:01 PM
Anonymous Don Williams said...
Another example of kidnapping for ransom here in the USA:
"SAN ANTONIO -- Two men have been arrested in connection with a kidnapping scheme that involved holding construction workers hostage for a huge ransom, police said...
...Police said the victims were taken hostage to extract ransom money from their boss, who is a contractor.
Investigators say the workers are building a hotel in San Antonio. The suspects somehow gained knowledge that a significant pay day was about to occur."
February 4, 2010 9:10 PM
Anonymous Don Williams said...
Example 3 of recent kidnapping for ransom in the USA-- this time near McAllen Texas:
"EDINBURG — An undocumented immigrant accused of kidnapping a Mission woman and holding her for ransom pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping charges Jan. 15.
Javier Vereozo Ortiz was sentenced to four years in prison as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Investigators alleged Vereozo and another man — Roberto Jaico — took the woman from her home, held her for four days and demanded a $500,000 ransom from her family before releasing her unharmed."
Thanks Don, I’ve been getting several emails lately about the growing amount of cases of kidnappings in USA.
It’s so unfortunate, I’ve been talking about this problem we live with here in Argentina for many years, explained in my book that it’s a rather common post –economic crisis crime that we simply never experienced before 2001. I hoped it would never happen in USA but well, now it clearly is.
Do you guys notice how all these things that supposedly would never happen …. “unless TSHTF”…. Are happening and yet things keep going as usual, just different?
Supposedly America would be utterly destroyed and people would live “a la Mad Max” before kidnappings occurred in USA as they occur in 3rd world countries.
But no, things just aren’t that drastic and spectacular, it just crawls into our lives and we have to learn to live with them, adapt and prepare.
Kidnappings is a kind of crime for which you can clearly prepare for.
Following these simple rules you very turn yourself and your family in a hard, unattractive target. It’s the equivalent of your house looking like Fort Knox and being right next to a police station: A criminal will find 100 targets that look easier and more doable.
I also googled tips for avoiding kidnappings and was pleasantly surprised that the Mexican government pretty much advices the same things I’m saying here.
So please, if crime is getting worse in your area, keep these rules in mind and put them to practice.
7 Rules to Avoid Kidnappings
This is by far the most common reason why people end up being kidnapped.
Most often its not the rich and famous that get hit. It does happen but it generally requires defeating serious private security, doing intelligence work, and while the booty is bigger the risk also increases.
Forget about Hollywood and what you see on TV. Don’t think for a second that this is something that only concerns billionaires.
Would you pay 1000 dollars to save your child’s life, how about $5000? $5000 bucks is a lot of money my friend, and some people are willing to cut off your kid’s ear and mail it to you for less.
Its much more common for “ordinary people” to get kidnapped based on trails or tips.
Someone sold a car, a house, someone’s wife is being a loud mouth about his sugar daddy’s company doing very well and someone overheard. The maid or cleaning lady that comes once or twice a week noticing there’s a lot of money and talking to their friends or relatives.
It very important to incorporate this into you life, as a standard way in which you simply operate 24/7: Don’t talk about money, keep your voice down, be careful about where you talk about these things and never brag about extra profit or mention cars, houses or such being sold.
On one occasion when my mother was visiting, I had to point this out to her while walking in Buenos Aires down town area. Typical of loud Latins, she was talking out loud about salaries in Spain, forgetting the almost x6 exchange rate.
2)Don’t brag and don’t look “rich”.
Sometimes even if you don’t say it out loud, the way you dress, the jewelry women carry, the car you drive and the lifestyle you have says much about you as well.
Try not looking rich. Even more stupid than this, don’t PRETEND to be rich either. Rolex? $1000 purse? Bet you’d pay 100.000 pretty fast if I send you your son’s finger.
This is typical of new rich or middle class with higher expectations, to live beyond their means.
Very bad idea. As sad as it may be, lots of people do this, pretending to be something they’re not.
During good times its just pathetic, but during a kidnap its hard to explain a that you actually don’t have a million dollars, that you’re rather 500.000 in debt.
I know lots of people that drive cheaper cars instead of fancier ones they could easily afford for this reason alone; not looking wealthy.
3)Stay in touch.
It’s important that every adult in the family: A) Has his own cell phone B) Is religious about keeping it charged and carrying it.
Lots of virtual kidnappings can simply be avoided by doing this, and in case someone goes missing its of course much easier to track down.
If real kidnaps already occur in USA, trust me its just a matter of time before virtual ones start as well. Its simple to do, all you need is a phone and time until you find the right victim. After finding someone that gives away vital information over the phone, its easy to scare a family member into dropping some money at one location to save his loved one.
4) Don’t give information over the phone.
Not even your first name. Don’t fall for tricks to pry information away from you either. I’m a friend of your mothers/father/brother”, if you keep talking you’re already saying at least that such person exists.
“What’s your name and who are you looking for?” That’s the only thing you should say. Don’t let a stranger bully you or use a command tone of voice over the phone to get information out of you. They pretend to be cops, hospital workers checking for a relative of your that got hurt and is now in the hospital, once you accept the existence of such person and he/she’s clearly not there, they switch the tone of voice and tell you they’re actually kidnappers and have that person with them. They sometimes hang up and call later, maybe another day, and use the gathered information in a similar manner.
5)Don’t leave kids alone.
Children and even pre-teens or young teenagers are favorite targets.
You can usually tell if the family has money by the clothes, or their cell phone, or if they have expensive private school uniforms. Its became such a problem here in Argentina, that for some time private schools no longer made it mandatory to wear the uniform and I believe that even today some schools still do so.
Kids are usually more naïve, not that strong, and there’s nothing a parent wouldn’t do (or pay) to save his kids life.
When in doubt if your son/daughter is old enough to be alone on the streets these days, its better to fall on the side of caution. Drive them around or get some other responsible adult to do so.
6)Be aware of your surroundings.
Both on foot and when driving.
Being armed and knowing how to use your weapon is important, but as I’ve said hundreds of times already, avoiding the encounters entirely is MUCH better. Avoiding the ambush, even if its for just 2 or 3 seconds makes a world of a difference and is always 1000x better than being the fastest gun in the planet.
So people, be extra careful out there. Look alive, check your surroundings. Avoid dangerous or deserted places. When it comes to kidnappings be specially aware of cars driving slowly towards you or people purposefully walking towards you. When in doubt look around, if you see a second person or group of people doing the same you sure are being ambushed.
When it comes to driving its important to change schedules and routes often.
Going always to the office through the same route, always going out at exactly 8.00 PM and arriving home at 7.30 PM makes things terribly easy for any would-be kidnapper. Be careful on stop signs and red lights. I’ve mentioned before on several occasions how we’ve learned to ignore them here in Argentina because of security problems, specially at night.
When you think you’re being followed turn 3 times in the same direction, if the car is still following you drive quickly to the nearest police station, call 911 and warn your family as well.
Of course, dont open the door to strangers and increase your homes seucrity measures as we've often discussed.
7)Get the police involved immediately
Specially when you live in a country like USA that has serious police, the chances of survival increase if you contact the police.
Being honest here, often it works the other way around in certain 3rd world countries where even the police advices you to go back home, shut up and pay.
But in the States, going straight to the police is still the best thing to do.