Thursday, November 17, 2011

San Diego Residents Escape Attempted Kidnapping in Tijuana

Two San Diego [National City] women, both sisters, are safely back home, after an attempted kidnapping in Tijuana on Monday (November 14), when the sisters' father asked them to go across the border and collect rent from a tenant that was renting the family home at Mariano Matamotos.

Upon arriving at the their house in TJ, Tina Hernandez dropped off her sister and two family friends who went into the house to collect the monthly rent from the two tenants. Thirty-seconds later, Hernandez heard her sister scream, at which point Hernandez drove around the corner and called Tijuana police. Once the police arrived, they discovered that several gunmen had tied up Hernandez' sister, her friends and the renters.

COMMENT: What Hernandez and the police were unaware of, though, was that the renters had masterminded an extortion scheme to force her sister and their two friends to pay money to the tenants. Police subsequently arrested the tenants and other co-conspirators, enabling Hernandez and her sister to return to San Diego with the agreement that they would testify against those arrested.

Extortion is a common scam along the border, along with cross-border kidnappings on both sides, particularly in California, Arizona and Texas.

It is strongly recommended that anyone crossing the US-Mexican border frequently should be cautious of kidnapping and extortion schemes. In particularly, potential targets should have their last will and testament, advance medical directive and power of attorney in place; carry a copy of their blood type and a list of medications in their wallet; have local police numbers on both sides of the border types into a cell-phone speed-dialer; have an ATM card with at least a $200 balance; and know NOT to resist a kidnapping attempt, particularly if firearms are used by criminals.

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