Friday, October 9, 2009

Talking with the neighbors about criminal activity in the area.

Usually people have very different opinions and what someone may not like at all others may feel it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
There’s a lot of people here that when asked about living conditions, they apparently see nothing wrong, and others are exactly the other way around.
I suppose that if you have to pick extremes, denial is healthier than living all stressed up, therefore the natural "sheep" mass mentality.

I try to keep a healthy balance of awareness without going nuts about every single thing. Not easy but that’s what I try.
Occasionally I talk with people about what’s going on, around here its the only way to know what’s happening in our area since the great majority of crimes don’t get reported and even if they do, only murder or mayor theft in the capital district is worthy of the news.

I suggest doing your best to be friendly and chat a bit with shop owners and people that may have news to share.
In times such as these, you occasionally learn a new modus operandi being used by criminals and other relevant data that may come in handy.

Today such an occasion presented itself. The photocopier shop was doing business with metal curtains down, through a small window. I handed here the papers I needed copied and when she was handing me back my change I asked if she was doing so because of crime.
It’s something common in some neighborhoods, most small kiosks in the suburbs where crime is a problem, they do all their business through windows with burglar bars.
“No, just didn’t have time to open just yet” Sounded like BS but whatever.
“Oh, I don’t mind, just asking. Did you ever get robbed around here?”
“Sure, several times. All these shops around here get robbed often. Even the pharmacy in the corner with the guard, they still get hit once in a while”
That surprised me a bit, but I suppose the kind of cash in a pharmacy is worth dealing with the guard.
“Yes, they just hold him at gun point, or wait until he goes to the bathroom or gets distracted someway. The other store next to it, the one that sells lottery tickets, they get robbed all the time, usually by the same guy”
“The guy drops by, puts his gun on the counter and last time the owner told me he said, “ Come on dude, you again?”. They rob those places more because they have more money, but they rob me too, even if they can only take 50 pesos or so (about 15 USD). I just give them what I have, but there’s always the risk that they may shoot you for a few pesos, or they accidentally fire and either kill you or leave you crippled for the rest of your life”
I said “I know, the sandwich store in front of the pharmacy got robbed too some time ago. A couple. The woman that works there told me that the woman told her accomplice “shoot her! shoot her!” when she was on the ground."
She looks at me and gets a bit closer “You know something? Women (criminals) are worse than men. They don’t care about shooting people, they are more cold blooded”
I think the same way and she’s right, but I didn’t want to sound offensive. Yet its pretty much a fact: The old bad guy stereotype, forget about it. Female criminals have been involved in many cold blooded murders during robberies. It’s as if they care less, more cold hearted. I still remember that woman that executed a cop during a robbery, after the officer surrendered his firearm. She shot him through the chest, and they caught the couple because they accidentally dropped a keychain with the picture of one of their kids. Cops asked around kindergartens and ended up catching them.
It’s a pity to live in these conditions.
I asked just the same, knowing the answer “Cops?”
She shook her head. “They show up afterwards, but they don’t do anything”.
There’s really not much they can do. They are overwhelmed by the situation and simply can’t be everywhere at the same time. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough cops. The problem is that there are too many criminals!


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