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Old 10-07-2012, 12:20   #31
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

some of these postings are pretty sad!
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Old 10-07-2012, 13:22   #32
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Scanning posts again, for salient points....

The scumbags scope out boats during daylight.

Signs of alertness aboard, particularly watchdog with a deep voice, seems to deter.

Nicest boat got hit.

Possible first attempt repelled, but no alert sent to other boats, or if sent, wasn't heard or acted upon.

Law enforcement aware of criminals, but leaves them loose anyway.
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Old 10-07-2012, 13:23   #33
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Probably because it scare the Sh!% out of people. Everyone wants to think they can defend themselves and that these things won't happen to them. However it is really luck of the draw. We have friends who were still anchored beside the couple while this event took place. They have just as nice a boat with similar gear and perception of wealth. They might have been 200 yards away. But they slept through the night. It is great to think you can out muscle them, or defend with your right to bear arms, but this isn't america. Much of the world, including Panama, does not want firearms on the street. Here you have to submit a sample of your DNA and do a background check that takes 3 months before you can buy a gun.

Where are the guns coming from? People smuggling them in from the USA. So if you get caught bringing in an un registered (in the country you enter) firearm, and do not submit it to the authorities upon arrival you are breaking pretty serious laws.

There was an expat down here with a Panama registered gun who used it to defend an intruder and he was very close to being sentenced with murder. Now if you smuggle a gun into the country, well you broke the law even before you were threatened.

Guns are stupid on a boat, just get a taser as at least they can be used in a closed environment without putting holes in your boat, and not many developing countries make you declare them when you enter as they are not really a firearm.

You don't expect these things to happen, so it is hard to defend yourself. But you can do things like Zeehag said to avoid being a target, and hope that if it does happen to you they don't kill you.

A lot of this defence talk and gun talk is based out of the fear that none of us really know how we will react in such a situation and are afraid that we might ever encounter such horrors. It is best to be on the defensive, because usually when your looking down the barrel of a gun at 2am in the pitch black half asleep and being yelled at in a foreign language, it is to late to be a hero.
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Old 10-07-2012, 13:33   #34
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Quote:
The scumbags scope out boats during daylight.

Signs of alertness aboard, particularly watchdog with a deep voice, seems to deter.

Nicest boat got hit.

Possible first attempt repelled, but no alert sent to other boats, or if sent, wasn't heard or acted upon.

Law enforcement aware of criminals, but leaves them loose anyway.
Yes, except we did get a warning on the radio about the earlier attempt, a lot of people just leave their radio off. They were separate groups, maybe from the same gang. My feeling is the first group was just short on gas and decided to steal some as the gas dock was closed, the second one was slightly planned but it was Saturday night and all the locals drink and party, so it might have been a drug and alcohol confidence boosted event.

One of the nicest boats was hit, there were a few similarly equipped boats all around.

Law enforcement has a mug shot confirmed of one of the criminals, from a notorious gang town nearby. I'm sure they have spent time in jail and have been released. I don't think to many law enforcement agencies enjoy screwing up so bad the president of the country flies in the next day. Same old deal, it's one thing to arrest criminals, another to convict. This one is a pretty easy conviction once they get them.

The police agencies here, though very bureaucratic and slow, are taking it seriously.
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Old 10-07-2012, 13:36   #35
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

quote--NICEST BOAT GOT HIT unquote.

guess why--looks are everything. ugly up and live looong time.

many folks do not understand this point--but it is obvious.

LOOKING NICE = HAS LOTS OF MONEY = TARGET.
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Old 10-07-2012, 13:52   #36
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by youmeandthed View Post
Having a small bag of poison that looks like cocaine in with your money is not difficult. Actually it would be easier than dealing with a gun on a boat.
First...thanx for the report a few posts back that the couple is doing ok.
Next let me say with my Psychology background, the couple is probably not ok. Right now they are probably reassessing their personal security in the world. Most of their decisions in the foreseeable future will be based on fear...and how could it be any different after what they had to endure.
For thousands of years male and female relationships are based on hunter/security dynamics. I mean in the male/female relationship, the man provides a means for food and by physical size, security also. The female creates a home and a comfort the male cannot provide for himself and depends on the male for protection and security.
I know this sounds "out there" but bit's true. Based on this, the couple are feeling very insecure at the moment. There may be heated discussions in the future between them.
Secondly...I'm not surprised this is turning into a gun thread. It just seems to happen in North America. That said, your statement about lacing money with "white powder" or "spiking alcohol with poison" is equally ridiculous. Lets say you have done this. As you stated, your boat is in the marina. Early evening you decide to get a bite to eat. A young 12 to 16 year old local decides to see if he can grab some quick chump change from your boat and finds the alcohol. Was that action of yours worth a life? Or...you have guest visit for a few days and its been months since your spiking and you've forgotten about it. Same scenario. Don't think you would let this happen? How many children in the US are killed every year finding there Dad's "hidden" weapon loaded with the safety off. He didn't mean to kill his kid...it just happened.
In post #12 I mentioned taken your own steps to provide safety for yourself by adding a boarding ladder locking system. Or add to that a 12 volt automatic light over the outboard (usually what they are after). You could also rig a panic button that when pressed sends out a shrieking siren in the anchorage. No perpetrator is going want to hang around. The key here is to keep some barrier between you and some a-hole that wants to do you harm.
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:07   #37
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
quote--NICEST BOAT GOT HIT unquote.

guess why--looks are everything. ugly up and live looong time.

many folks do not understand this point--but it is obvious.

LOOKING NICE = HAS LOTS OF MONEY = TARGET.
Always confounds me how some folks will go to a poor place and think that they are impressing the locals with their fancy cloths and gold watchs..must make them feel like they are giving the poor hungry people something to imulate...might get more positive attention if they hang some bananas around their necks,everybody has bananas,not to many have gold and if they do they dont hang it on their neck,they put it in their mouths for safe keeping...the worse ones are the "holy ones" that go to depressed places to save lost souls,people dont need soul saving they need food ,medical care,education(not theology) and they dont need to see gross wealth and all the booze it buys everynight when there are hungry children watching who havent had a good meal ,is it any wonder they grow up and look at westerners like they are targets ripe for the picking...no one deserves to be robbed and raped whether they are rich or not,but some caution when you have nice things and others dont can go a long way in keeping one safe from crooks when visting poor places, me thinks..DVC
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:23   #38
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Micah the Valiant cowers behind his bulletproof bisalloy hatch and plays tape recording of pump action shotgun being loaded. Wonders why Pedro & Co bothered climbing over 5ft freeboard, 4ft three-rail lifelines, 6ft wire mesh netting hung from non-slapping halyards, and then back to the deck. As poor as I am, the scumbags better be glad they have a gee yoo enn, else I'd be shaking them down for change or a pinch of baccy.

In the meantime, the blaring foghorn has thankfully drowned out the ever whirring windmills and roaring gensets, and the deck lights have out-glared the folks trying to drop their (insert preferred brand) anchor by shining their (§&$§& searchlights into the portholes of slumbering sailors. Nothing to see here, move along please, just a regular quiet night in the anchorage.

Btw, what do you do when you hear a rape in progress on the boat next door? Not my problem? Non-interference for the purpose of self-preservation of precious yellow hide? Wait for the local cops to come rushing to the rescue 9 hours later in the taxi you sent? Not this little black duck. Most of the rest of western civilisation may have rotted from within, but not this ship. Who do you want to anchor next to? Get a spine, or stay on land and hide in the herd. I may not shave, but to keep my beard kempt I do need a mirror, and the eyes tell a tale.
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:56   #39
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Good grief!
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Old 10-07-2012, 15:17   #40
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Good grief!
Yes! Wonder where one can cruise to be safe from cruisers as some just sound way too dangerous to have around?
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Old 10-07-2012, 15:24   #41
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Yes! Wonder where one can cruise to be safe from cruisers as some just sound way too dangerous to have around?
Easy Don,
I wouldn't shoot ya. I'd just offer ya some special Rum, and maybe some money if yer runnin' a little short. I am a peaceable citizen. Just like the Pilgrims about 400 years ago.
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Old 10-07-2012, 15:27   #42
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Yes! Wonder where one can cruise to be safe from cruisers as some just sound way too dangerous to have around?
I could be dense or a bad reader. What particular part of what particular post sounded like there was a cruiser that was dangerous to have around? (what particular lines led to this conclusion)

ps. I know it might not sound genuine as written by me above, but this is a genuine question.
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Old 10-07-2012, 15:31   #43
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Very very sad to hear what has happened to the lady. I hope they recover fast and put this event behind and try to move on. These kind of events, I think, are very random and can happen anywhere and anytime. Can't suggest something foolproof, but only one thing - don't be an easy target.
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Old 10-07-2012, 16:11   #44
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Interesting how the knee-jerk reaction to a senseless act is to paint the whole area / country / region with a big, wide, bad brush.

Similar incidents have occurred in some very popular cruising grounds in the last three years... Antigua, St. Martin, Grenadines come to mind. In each case they were not in a bad place, they were in a good place with a few baddies in it. In each case the baddies were caught and put away and the problems ceased. But we cruisers have long memories. I wonder how many will avoid X / Y / Z because of these isolated events?

We cruised Panama for two months this season. It is the most pristine, breathtakingly beautiful place we have been in the last ten thousand miles. We saw nothing but welcome and friendliness wherever we went. We have a number of friends who are summering over in Bocas. We hope for their sake that the perps are put away and cruising returns to normal there soon.

Charlie, Maureen & Family - with two very barky dogs (our solution to the problem)... in the Rio
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Old 10-07-2012, 16:15   #45
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Just like the Pilgrims about 400 years ago.
if the "other" tribe of locals had only knew what those cruisers were bringing down on them
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