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Friday, February 5, 2010

Kidnappings in USA: How to prepare for them.

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."

Ref: http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=140463

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."

Ref: http://www.kens5.com/home/Police-construction-workers-held-hostage-for-huge-ransom-82372082.html

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."

http://www.themonitor.com/news/pleads-34731-attempt-ransom.html



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


1)KEEP. YOUR.BIG.MOUTH.SHUT.
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.

FerFAL

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

As someone who did business in Tijuana for several years (stopped last year), allow me to commend you for this very sound advice.
In addition to what you wrote about keeping your cell phone with you at all times, I would like to tell your readers about a common practice in Tijuana: first, don't give your cell number out freely, and consider getting a separate number and/or phone reserved for your family and closest friends; second and most importantly, program in the numbers of everyone close to you and if your cell phone rings and you don't recognize the number, DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE! Many kidnappers will troll random numbers in order to make threats; they will simply say, "I've got your son, come to XXX and leave $ZZZ or I will kill him." You may read this now and think that you would require speaking with your supposedly kidnapped son before you leave the money, but realize that, in the stress of the moment, you might just decide to act quickly. If your son doesn't have a cell phone, or doesn't have it on (or charged up) and you can't reach him, what would you do? Please, everyone, take care about this! I know so many people whose lives were ruined by kidnappings; even those who survive and are returned are often irreparably damaged. Don't let it happen to you or anyone you love.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ferfal,

In USA most kidnapping is either sexual crime or spouse stealing the kid from other spouse. Not much kidnap for ransom, because you are very likely to get arrested trying to pick up the money.

Just_In_Case_The_SHTF said...

I would add "be careful about the personal information you post on social networking sites" to the list.

Internet search technology is improving all the time. Check out http://snitch.name/ and http://www.public-records-now.com/ to see what I mean.

Once people find out a little bit about you (such as your name and what you look like) based on the information you've posted about yourself and your links to other people in your social network, they can then find out a lot about you either at no cost or very little cost.

The more details of your life others can learn about you, the easier it will be for them to stalk you and do bad things to you such as steal your identity, blackmail you, or kidnap you.

Anonymous said...

My in-laws in Russia have no friends because they trust no one. Long-time neighbors ask, "What happened to your kids, we haven't seen them in years". One died, one's my wife in the USA, and one moved to Germany. But neighbors only get a mumble and a shrug.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to share on this topic as this is an important one that unfortunately seems to be a growing concern for us here in the USofA.

As a single woman with no familial support, I am caring for an aged and completely dependent father (who is almost 80). All my life I was called "beautiful" and a "babe" - but we live in different times and I now "fly under the radar" in every way possible because if something were to happen to me, my dad would die.

Here is what I do and why;

First of all, for security purposes I NEVER wash my car(s), (when it rains, they get washed; good enough), I don't fix "dings" as any "self-respecting" thief would not pick my car over a hot-looking one nearby. I never leave anything in my cars to tempt anyone either.

Because I feel secure in myself, I dress down for "camouflage", I wear nondescript "old & shapeless" clothing; I never wear makeup and I will don ugly brown glasses to wear. (I plan on getting an old lady wig at some point - in case!). I walk with purpose and a swift stride in and out of stores; I never carry a purse, I never flirt or act "feminine" with guys, my behavior is "non-sexual" and no-nonsense. I am alert and will move away from males who may turn to get a better look at me; I do NOT make eye contact but am aware of them peripherally and will move away. I quickly move in and out of wherever I have to go. I don't chitchat or stroll. I keep my dad with me at all times but due to his being wheelchair bound, I will run into stores and back out to him, where he is - locked in the car, with the brake on, etc.

Now, I have always been pretty careful, but last year we had a kidnapping right in our area. My girlfriend was very nearly nabbed by a man on her way to work at 8am (she was near a school). She ran as he stopped the van and tried to chase her on foot to catch her. She is 38, has 8 kids but dresses like a teenager and has a ponytail. She would not go to the police (she may be "illegal"). She was lucky that day. But, just two days later, in the same area - a 16 yr. old was kidnapped right near her school - at about 7 am. Her pictures show she probably had a ponytail, too. (*easier to grab and take down) This guy was cruising schools looking for a target in the early mornings while it was still a bit dark until he "caught" one. He drove a van with no windows. This freaked me out. I went into a hyper-vigilant mode and became "more underground" - I put on weight to make sure I would not be targeted but still dress "non-sexual" always. My main reasons for all this is in keeping my dad safe because there is no one else and if something happened to me, he'd be dead.

I truly believe the kidnappings here (we are 35 mi. from the "open" border) are related to the "sex-slave trade" as they just "disappear" - there are no calls, no notes, & no ransom wanted. I willingly have sacrificed my looks and femininity to keep my dad safe. I am also doing what is necessary in case of SHTF scenarios, but I thought since this is such an important thing to be aware of, I would share what I do - out of necessity, being a single female. Oh, and don't think I walk around "fearful" either, I don't. I have a prayer life and I utilize it daily like a force-field for protection - but if anyone were to ever grab me, trust me, to keep my dad safe, I'd tear the attacker's eyes out blind. Seriously, I would - as I believe it is cowardly not to fight for your loved ones and honorable if you have to die doing it. God bless us all. Keep safe.

Don Williams said...

1) I am sorry that Anon who posted at 1:59 AM has to live in fear here in the USA. A nation as wealthy as ours should provide protection to its citizens --but I am sure that her story matches that of millions among us. But you have to read it here at Ferfal's blog --because you won't see it covered in our nations TV networks and major newpapers.

2) The two-faced prostitutes on our Supreme Court made much last week of the right of our multi-billion dollar corporations to have free speech in the political arena.

Note how those hypocrites on the Supreme Court -- with LIFE TIME Guaranteed salaries -- never noted that the 50 Million US households with low income have NO voice in the US political forum. The poor suffer what they must. Including the 8 million Americans who have lost their jobs since Wall Street broke the casino. And the 1.35 Million Americans who had to declare bankruptcy last year.

Our two-faced Supreme Court also failed to note that no Superrich Corporation ever gave its life in defense of this country -- it is the low income citizens who carry the burden of defending our nation.

We are following the path of Ancient Rome -- in which one day, an impovished citizenry will cheer the rise of a dictatorial Caesar --just so long as he chops off the heads of our corrupt Senators and mounts them on stakes on the national Mall.

Maybe even the heads of some Magistrates.

Maldek said...

"and honorable if you have to die doing it."

You are not a female - you are a warrior in a girl's body.

No samurai of the ancient times could have said it better; or served his master more loyal than you do.

Still. You were born in a female body. This is a fact, isnt it?

In the east they say "never attack when there is fullness - attack where there is emptyness"

Right now your life is full of your dad but one day he will die.

Then you may quickly become a single full of emptyness. Alone and not able or willing for a serious relationship or kids.

If you dont change the course of action soon this is what your future may look like.

Anonymous said...

Single woman in the USofA,

You sound a lot like my Russian wife (who bears zero resemblance to the models on mail-order-bride websites). Whom do you trust, besides your dad and your single girlfriends? If there's no way for a single man to enter that circle, you have a very serious problem.

My father is 80 and unable to walk, but he'll fight for 100 just to see my kids grow up. Without at least the hope of grandkids, what's the point?

Your dad would give anything to see you married with children, not just to continue his legacy, but for your own security. In a broken society like Argentina, Russia, or America after the dollar collapses, you won't survive long without a strong family.

Anonymous said...

Yo Don Williams... 50 million poor can vote if they want to and the military is all volunteer. Stop whining....

Anonymous said...

For anyone who has written regarding my post (1:59am), presupposing to know or assuming to know, who I am or what my life would be like after having taken the responsibility for my dad - is just that - assumption. While I appreciate that others may take the time to comment or to give their opinion, warranted or not, it is just that, someone else's opinion. No one can presume to know the life lessons I am learning nor the reasons I assumed this responsibility for my father. It has been vastly rewarding. Life is a school. I will not go into detail - except to say, life is what it is, based on choices we make and based on those choices - we are free then to live with the consequences, good or bad. Any presumptive opinions based on how "empty" one's life would be without having to "include having kids, getting married or having a man in one's life", is based solely on the commentator's personal perceptions. To comment is one's perogative but is always based on one's own rather limited experience, and not necessarily the truth of another's life experience. I do not live in fear, I choose to deal with fear. And lastly, would one's life be any less "empty" if one's children were to grow up and leave home, is this transition one of emptiness or yet again, another transition in life, full again of opportunity and promise? Life becomes happy and fulfilling based on living one's truth and I am living my truth. Thank you.

JJ in SC said...

For Anonymous with the dependent father:

I commend you on your spirit of service and your filial loyalty. Those qualities are all too rare these days in America, male or female.

I also commend you on your warrior spirit. It took most of five years in the Army to get over my misogynistic preconceptions and really understand that women can rise above the helplessness mindset so prevalent in this country and fight with the best of the men, but I would sooner get in a knife fight with a bear than try to tangle with a woman (or anyone) with your mindset. I trust that any animal scum that did try to abduct you would soon be removed from the gene pool.

Cheers, and remember to rotate your magazines.

Maldek said...

"Life is a school. Life is what it is, based on choices we make and based on those choices - we are free then to live with the consequences, good or bad."

Yes mylady, again you said it very well.

"include having kids, getting married or having a man in one's life", is based solely on the commentator's personal perceptions. "

No mylady - it is not. Kids. This is one of THE most important things in the life for 99.9% of human beeings.


"I do not live in fear, I choose to deal with fear."

Is it so?

Ask Ferfal or any other father with a daughter. We do NOT want our little girls waste their life so we can be in our wheelchair 1 year longer....

DaShui said...

Que Pasa FerFal,

Years ago my girlfriend's grandmother was kidnapped and murdered, by a disgruntled business partner. She was 80 years old and the kindnaper walked into the unsecured house, rolled her up in a carpet threw her in a basement somewhere, the body was never found.
I think the lesson is that as times worsen, the Anglo idea of "independence" will become outdated. There is no way the grandmother could have protected herself, even if the house was locked tight with a Dogo Argentina,, the grandmother has to go somewhere sometime.

Anonymous said...

My ex and I had a virtual kidnapping attempt in 2005. I had just received $72k and the virtual kidnapper said he had my ex-girlfriends sister and wanted $6k to let her go. I had just seen the sister 12 hours prior but the kidnapper was in the southern united states and we were all in mexico city. The kidnapper said he smuggled her into the united states and didnt count on me actually being in mexico with the sister the night before(as i live in the US) I knew there was no way she could've made it 1600 miles in 12 hours especially since we had made plans to visit her the next day. If she really did get kidnapped though, I would've just called the FBI.

Anonymous said...

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.


Girls are the easiest target compared to boys, especially adolescent girls with boyfriends, even when they go out alone because girls are often seen as weaker than boys are, due to being petite and having a small build.