The growth of theft and robbery in Venezuela

robo a mano armadaWithin the crime wave currently affecting Venezuela, theft and robbery, in their different modalities, have increased exponentially. Every day, at any time, criminals are going for people’s personal belongings all over the nation. This situation keeps residents in constant anxiety.

Emboldened criminals commit theft and robberies in the weirdest places (movie theaters, airports, hospitals, educative centers, stadiums and even at church during service) every day. Their target goods are quite diverse, going from cash money, motorcycles, cars and mobile phones to grocery bags (the general crisis and shortage of products makes this increasingly frequent), among many others.

Homicides, due to their gravity, cause great alarm in the society, but theft and robbery occur much more frequently. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice stopped publishing specific data many years ago, but the latest Victimization and Citizen Safety Perception Survey carried out in 2009 by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) indicated that nearly 1,000,000 robberies and over 400,000 thefts occur in Venezuela each year. Robbery and theft together encompass 80% of the crimes committed in Venezuela.

The INE survey also indicated that Venezuelans aren’t used to report these crimes against property, so the black numbers are quite high. In the case of robbery, 68.72% didn’t go to the authorities to notify the crime. As to theft, the number reached 77.82%. Most respondents said they didn’t report the cases because the authorities “wouldn’t do anything with them”.

Source: El Universal

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Companies propose anti-theft device to prevent mobile theft

antirobo movilA group of mobile companies stated that the largest mobile device manufacturers and US telephone companies would soon include anti-theft tools in their devices to control theft cases.

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced that, according to a voluntary commitment, companies such as Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., U.S. Cellular Corp., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. would provide an anti-theft tool preinstalled in devices or available for free download for mobile devices sold in the United States from July 2015.

Users would have the option to remotely eliminate the information contained in their mobile phones as well as to prevent reactivation if their devices are lost or stolen, said the association.

The industry has taken action as government agencies and elected US officials ask manufacturers to implement disabling devices to fight the increasing smartphone robbery cases in the nation. Sector representatives had said that including such anti-theft devices in mobile phones had serious risks, such as hacker vulnerability.

Nearly one of every three robbery cases in the United States involves smartphones, according to the Federal Communications Commission. These robberies cost US consumers over 30,000 million dollars in 2012, said the agency in study.

Source: Noticias24

Drivers harassed by “road pirates” at Pto. Ordaz – El Tigre stretch

pto ordaz el tigreCargo drivers going from Puerto Ordaz to El Tigre during night hours have been repeatedly attacked by criminals who set roadblocks forcing them to stop so they can rob them.

These known road pirates usually put large objects on the road so drivers are forced to slow down or even pull over to move the objects only to be attacked by several subjects who take their valuable belongings and vehicles.

Drivers of the area reported they’d seen large objects on the road such as old washing machines, refrigerators and other objects thrown on purpose to force them to stop, they have also reported seeing a vehicle with a lot of people inside parked ahead. To them, those vehicles could be where the criminals are waiting for their victims to slow down so they can ambush them.

They stated the most dangerous stretch was from El Amparo to Km 42. They also report the deplorable road conditions in the area which also forces drivers to slow down to protect their vehicles, giving the criminals more opportunities to attack travelers at gunpoint, especially during the night.

Some users have also reported thieves at the Ciudad Bolívar – Puerto Ordaz road forcing transportation units to pull over and robbing all passengers.

Apparently there are two different MOs, some criminals board the units as passengers and pull out their guns as they drive by Matanzas Industrial Zone in Ciudad Guayana, near Sidor, and take other passengers’ belongings before getting out of the vehicles, and others simply stop the vehicles on the road to get in and rob the passengers.

Source: Nueva Prensa de Guayana

Samsung implemented measures against phone theft

find my mobile enSamsung Electronics will include two security features in its latest Smartphone in an effort to reduce the large number of device robberies in the United States, the company informed.

The world’s largest mobile telephone manufacturer said users could now activate for free the features “Find My Mobile” and “Reactivation Lock” to protect the Galaxy 5S. These features electronically disable the devices if there’s an unauthorized attempt to completely reset them.

The announcement was made as the District Attorney of San Francisco, George Gascon; the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman and other authorities demanded the manufacturers to implement ways to disable the devices to fight theft nationwide.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly one of every three robberies in the United States is related to mobile devices. Lost and stolen mobile devices, mostly smartphones, cost consumers over $30,000 million in 2012, said the entity in a study.

Source: BlackBerryVzla

Caracas burglary cases increasing

robo viviendasAlthough several criminal groups dedicated to burglary in the Chacao area have been dismantled, there are still gangs committing mass robberies in people’s homes.

In some cases using influences with domestic or security staff, criminals access buildings or house complexes and take all kinds of valuable articles and cash.

The director of Polichacao said burglary reports have peaked over the last few months, going from seven to ten cases per week. Robberies used to be random, but now have increased to two per week.

According to this officer, most criminal groups involved in robbery and burglary come from the Libertador Municipality and also affect the areas of La Florida, Los Caobos and La Campiña. He also said the police are currently investigating two building maintenance companies that could be involved in the robberies occurred over the last few days.

Most vulnerable areas of Caracas

  • Chacao. The most vulnerable areas for house burglary and robbery are: Altamira, La Floresta, Los Palos Grandes and La Castellana. In most cases, criminals act in complicity with security or domestic staff. They follow their victims, with previous information, and attack them as they enter their property. Three gangs have been dismantled in the past month.
  • Sucre. Burglaries usually take place during the day and over the weekends, and robberies during the night. According to the director of Polisucre, criminals follow their victims as they leave some establishment and when they arrive at their homes, they intersect them and submit them. Macaracuay and El Marqués are the most affected sectors.
  • Baruta. Two burglaries per week are reported.

Source: El Universal

Crime wave affecting four stretches of Regional del Centro Freeway

arc_autopista_ifeThe sectors of Paracotos, Lomas de Niquel, Vinicio Adames Park and Tazon’s wide gauge on the Regional del Centro Freeway (ARC) are preferred places of operation for road piracy gangs, according to reports submitted before National Guard Detachment 56, in charge of guarding this road between Km 0 and Km 55.

Sources from this organization revealed that the points where they frequently attack were km 8, 37, 41, 50 and 55. At least one robbery is reported each day.

They use various modi operandi, but the most common one is throwing rocks at windshields. They also rob people in public buses and cargo drivers who stop in resting areas.

Cargo drivers have opted to travel in packs to protect themselves from these criminals. They sometimes travel in groups of up to three trucks from a single company and meet at the ARC with up to 30 from other distributors and states.

Source: UN

How to walk to avoid getting mugged? Science explains it

peatonesGetting mugged is not completely random; aggressors usually look for signs of weakness in their targets. Curiously, walking says a lot about people. To avoid being an easy target, there are steps (literally) you can take.

In 1981, researchers from New York University and Hofstra University published a study in the Journal of Communication establishing a relation between a person’s moves and his/her chance of getting mugged. After recording people’s walking in a dangerous area of New York City, they showed the video to violent prisoners and asked them to rate people based on their vulnerability.

Criminals agreed that older women were the easiest targets, followed by older men, young women and young men, in that order. Scientists concluded that the way they walked, their strides, their rhythm, their upper body positions, etc., were a strong indication of their vulnerability.

In 2006, Japanese researchers Kikue Sakaguchi and Toshikazu Hasegawa, of the University of Tokyo, concluded that those who walk slower, with shorter strides, were more prone to being attacked. This year, a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, maintains that psychopaths are more skilled in differentiating people’s walking and identifying their vulnerabilities.

Intuitively, people change their walking when they feel at risk. However, it is hard to act and pretend being strong and secure. It helps to take longer strides, turning your pelvis upon each step, moving your whole body, swinging -not lifting- your feet, showing a lot of arm movement, strong energy and low restriction.