Thieves break into two homes; steal 3rd boat
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Owner out thousands in cash, jewelry;
Press again claims PA a Cuban mafia base
Thieves took advantage of seasonal doldrums to break into two resort homes and tow a stolen twin-engine boat out of the private marina while ignoring a guard’s orders to stop.
The Colonos administration reports that on September 30 a safe in a home on Bahia Yanten was opened, $5,000 in U.S. dollars and about $80,000 pesos taken along with a “large amount” in jewelry while owners were out for the afternoon.
Prior to that, on August 22, thieves broke into a home on Bahia Xaac while the owners were away and took a multitude of items including a laptop, iPad, camera, Indian pipe and other goods.
In addition, a safe at the Colegio school was broken into in June for the second time in about a year. Colonos general manager Armando Rincon, who declined to identify the property owners, said the boat was stolen in the wake of a Colonos campaign to have skippers register their vessels and the hiring of extra guards that have been posted nightly from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the marina exit channels to monitor traffic. The so-called private marina where boats are “parked” in owners’ channel-front yards is located off Bahia Yanten, Puerto Aventuras Boulevard and Matzoma.
Some boat owners say they were supposed to receive stickers for the boats from the Colonos but they never arrived.
While Puerto Aventuras is home to a part-time contingent of the federal Navy/Marines, the private guard told the Colonos that after the boat thieves refused to stop, he called the Coast Guard to report the incident and that the boat was heading north. The Coast Guard reportedly told the guard it did not have the equipment at hand to initiate pursuit.
However, the local media, underscoring “unofficial information” re-stated previous speculation that Puerto Aventuras has been a base of operations for a Cuban mafia operation linked to “Los Zetas.” The claim is not accompanied by hard evidence and thus remains conjecture. The local media also suspects that local guards may be complicit in the operation based on the fact that PA is a gated community and that three very expensive boats have been stolen this year. It said the vessel’s owner in this latest grand theft realized the boat was being taken, informed officials but they declined action or did not have the means to pursue.
Feeding into the media’s allegations of a Cuban mafia operation is the observation, says the media, that no local, state or federal authority monitors boat traffic into and out of the “private” marina area where vessels come and go freely. They can access docking at private homesteads or un-built lots without being checked at all by any of those authorities.
Some circumstantial evidence is presented in recalling a 2008 case of Cuban nationals illegally deposited in Puerto from a powerful boat that was abandoned there when it wouldn’t start, an event that had post-repercussions involving the local gasoline station.
The thefts underscore a truism that exclusivity comes at a price. It has been said that the federal government will not participate in beach replenishment projects in PA precisely because it is exclusive. The same federal mindset may prevail when it comes to providing security.
The owner of the stolen 28-foot Grady White filed a report and was waiting to hear from the municipal police.
About the home break-ins, Rincon said both homeowners filed complaints with the municipal police in Playa del Carmen but the police opted to investigate only one case.
An observer on the ground in PA pointed out that thieves were evidently targeting big-block 4-stroke engines since two other vessels stolen this year from the marina had similar outboard engines. He said this is the first year since he has lived in Puerto that entire boats have been stolen.
Conventional wisdom is that the thieves beach the boats in shorefront jungle near the highway and strip them of their engines, a heavy task, and other electronic gear that can be sold on the black market. The thefts of goods from homes begs the question of how thieves are getting their loot out of the resort. The stripped hulls of several boats reported missing from various areas recently have been recovered while adrift, says one report.
5th Annual road race scheduled December 2
After four years of success, the Colonos Association of Puerto Aventuras announces its fifth annual 1 – 5 & 10 km. race taking place December 2 starting at the post office kiosk. As usual, all runners are invited to compete for a total purse of 50,000 pesos to be shared by winners. Last year’s race set a record at 500+ runners.
Starting time for categories: 10 km. 7:00 a.m.; 5 km. at 7:15 a.m. 1 km. at 9 a.m. Categories are: 1 km for coed kids (9 to 14) 500 meters for kids 8 and under; 5 km. for junior men and woman (15 to 18); OPEN: men and woman (19 to 39);MASTERS: men or woman (40 and up); 10 KM.- OPEN: men or woman (19 to 39);MASTERS: men or woman (40 to 49);VETERANS: men or woman (50 and up).
COST AND REGISTRATION:$100.00 pesos per person until Saturday December 1 at 16:00 p.m.; register 1) By e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 2) Asociación de Colonos de Puerto Aventuras. Tel 984 873 51-16 y 17. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.
PACKAGES AND NUMBERS will be distributed at the Colonos office Friday, Nov. 30 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Registration on Sunday will cost $250.00 pesos and only in the categories still available under the 500 person limit for runners. You will receive your number but no gift package.
PRICES AND AWARDS – There will be $50,000.00 pesos in total purse for the first, second and third place of each category and special prices from sponsors. There will be gifts for the first resident of P.A. to arrive. For the safety of runners, the race duration will be 1 hr. and 59 minutes and the route will be free of automobile traffic.
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
COMING UP – Halloween costume party at Latitude 20 Restaurant from 7-10
p.m. October 31. All ages invited. Also hosting 6th annual Riviera Maya Comedy show Nov. 4…PELICAN FREE PRESS will resume weekly editions in November. Sign up and stay tuned…TUSCA STRIKE – A potential strike by the Federation of Workers and Peasants (Fesoc) at Tusca transportation has been postponed until December while negotiations continue. The buses carry about 35,000 users in the Playa and Puerto area…BLACK EYE – Elderly packers at Soriana’s market on Playa’s 3oth Avenue complain of being mistreated by cashiers and staff, a charge acknowledged by management, which identified two cashiers as particularly offensive to the elderly workers…UP TO CODE – The president of the Solidarity Association of Architects says that greater Playa del Carmen is growing at a rate of 20 percent annually and that building codes need to be revamped and adhered to…NONETHELESS, retailers were complaining along 5th Avenue that the popular street was empty at the start of October, causing restaurants to lower prices and agitate for more marketing to attract tourists…MEANWHILE there are complaints about 5th Avenue vendors “stealing” public space by extending seating, signage and what have you from their venues onto the public passage ways…
TWO SEMI-DECAPITATED BODIES were left on Cancun Hotel Zone’s Kukulcan Boulevard by assassins claiming to be a Gulf Cartel cell calling itself “the Taliban” and CDG (meaning the Gulf Cartel, according to investigators.) The murders have prompted hotels in the area to demand more police patrols to protect visitors and the tourism destination’s reputation…WHILE EXTORTION and other crimes in the expanding Playa del Carmen area continue to make headlines in the local media, the government is stepping up its crime-fighting capabilities by dedicating a new Strategic Operations Center in Playa. It will house various law enforcement agencies in a coordinated attempt to rout organized criminal activity…FARE TRADE – State and municipal government officials say they are continuing to weed out criminals and drivers using taxis to accommodate illegal activities…PUMPED UP – New regulations will allow inspectors to monitor gasoline pumps to assure consumers are getting the amount of petrol they are paying for. Fines will be imposed on personnel who dicker with the mechanisms for illegal purposes. And for trivia’s sake, there are more than 10,000 gasoline stations in the country operating 48,000 individual pumps, 144 of which are in northern Quintana Roo…HOME DEPOT CEO tells The Economist magazine it will develop eight more stores in Mexico. Is there a Home Depot in Playa’s future?…
If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it…
We called the Mexican consulate in Boston to inquire about the new visa regulations outlined in our last edition (see previous story below) and told the gentleman there we split our time between the U.S. and Mexico at 6 months each.
Then we concurred the new regulations take effect Nov. 12 and asked if we could make early, post-dated application for permanent or temporary retiree residence visas since we were headed back to Mexico prior to Nov. 12. (Applications must be made in the home country consulate).
The gentleman’s best advice? The new visas may have requirements that may not suit us, such as limits on how much time one can spend outside Mexico. We asked how long that might be. He said, “six months.” That puts us back where we are with the tourist visa, which is free.
He suggested we familiarize ourselves with the requirements, costs and limitations of the new law before jumping in. Since we already have time requirements we can live with, then what’s the need and cost benefit to change?
Nonetheless, the Pelican will try to scoop up continued good information from the current dearth in succeeding issues.
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
When will you be arriving? “¿Cuándo usted llegar?
We’re waiting for you! Instruction in the Spanish language begins anew in mid-October with formation of a group class on the 16th. Instructor Gloria Contreras announces she will be available to teach classes in Puerto Aventuras from either 10 to 11 a.m. or 3 to 4 p.m. again at the Tiramisu Restaurant. She also offers private lessons in PA and also in Paamul where she also invites group sessions. Group classes are $150 pesos and $250 for private one-hour lessons. She is open to other suggestions and locations.
Anyone interested in learning the language can contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras email@example.com or Cel: 984-108-3516.
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos per session. Please call her first to make arrangements.