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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 20 Jan 2007
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'Scams' used for vehicle hijack / robbery.

In view of the increasing number of reports of vehicles being stopped for hijacking / robbery (or worse) - I wondered if it might be worth reporting some of the methods used to actually get the vehicle to stop in the first place.
Of course the methods employed will vary enormously between say Spain & Northern Mali, and it is likely that there is little one can do to avoid the situation - but it prevents one incident it will be worth it.
Anybody got first hand experience or reliable accounts?
Steve
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  #2  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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hmmm

let's see.

In Nicaragua they usually don't robb/stop vehicles blindly.
I haven't heard of anyone getting their bike stolen, as long as it's the bigger models. A 650 or a 1100 Bmw is pretty tricky to sell, as it really stands out here.
Guatemala and San Salvador are known for car jacking, but they usually jack cars like corollas that are easy to sell in parts or re-register and sell again.
Would be fun to see them trying to coaster a big bike!!!

Places to avoid are:
traffic lights at rush hour, at least roll up windows if you're in a car
roads with very light traffic (let's say 1 per hour) and in bad conditions in remote locations

CA1 is safe all the way up to the mexican border and down to Panama as long as you keep decent speeds.
Nicaragua is safe even at night, on the CA1 and I'd go for a drive to Guatemala/Panama in the middle of the night if neccessary.

I live in Nicaragua and has done so for 7 years so at least my 2 cents are very valid for Nicaragua.
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  #3  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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Throwing Rocks in your windshield to stop you

When I was in Guatemala, I meet a couple from France who has been living there for 15 years. They told me that it happens often that thieves hide themselves in the mountains or over a bridge. Then when you pass with your car they'll throw a big rock at your windshield to make you stop. Then I don't need to explain the rest of the story.

Patrick
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  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatOnTrip View Post
When I was in Guatemala, I meet a couple from France who has been living there for 15 years. They told me that it happens often that thieves hide themselves in the mountains or over a bridge. Then when you pass with your car they'll throw a big rock at your windshield to make you stop. Then I don't need to explain the rest of the story.

Patrick
Ok...tot straks!
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  #5  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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other tecniques

logs over road (only in isolated area)
usually at least 4 guys with at least 2 really good guns (usually ak 47 in nic) that comes out of the bush when you stop

in cities, they bump into you/small accident. When you get out they show you their guns and drive off. anti-secuestro/kidnapping alarms that shut off the car after 1 min if you open doors has lead to that they mount you in the vehicle until they are sure you don't have this alarm feature

most commonly is if you have parked your car. They sit and wait and when you come, you get a gun in your face and is ordered to get in the car and drive. This has happened to 2 friends in Guatemala city, so it's not unheard of on in GT city.

Secuestro express is on the rise in CA as well. They jack your car with you in it, then they go to ATM's where you have to make donations to their cause (usually to spend you money). When your cards are empty they leave you behind shining away in your vehicle.

But really it's not that dangerous as long as you watch your back, especially at night. I have pulled my gun 3 times during 7 years, and I move all over, sometimes at night with stuff that is desirable (because of my job).

Once they robbed my backpack when I was sleeping on the beach. I saw him but thought it was beach security.....

All in all, not that bad. At least here in Nic.
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  #6  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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also, they throw (i don't know the english word for it) manuelitas in spanish and v├Ągryttare in Swedish, the things with spikes that always have one sharp point upwards. That give you a flat tire, hard to spot on gravel roads.
When you stop...

Broken down cars, waiting for help. Usually are broken down cars waiting for help, but you never know.

White people has fame for beeing good victims as we don't fight and just give our stuff away, in general we have this fame as well. Cowards sort of.
The good thing, is that some, far from all, bad guys know that police get more involved in a case if they actually injure a foreigner.

The police don't really care about robberies that much, some do some don't.

Well, that's enough of blabbering from me...
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