TO CATCH A THIEF…
FOOD FEST participants sought by Colonos for March 30 event. Sign up at the Colonos office!!
VILLA CHOICES for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left
SALSA DANCE LESSONS, Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Latitude 20 Restaurants. All welcome. Have fun! Just 30 pesos per hour lesson.
IF THE RAINS leaked on your property, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
ENTERTAINMENT NIGHTLY at Latitude 20 Restaurant
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click the logo at left.
TECHNICAL PROBLEM? – Check Alan’s Repair at left for list of services
ALL THE POOL supplies you need. Click on WeRWater logo for list of products that work.
ITEMS FOR SALE– 26” woman’s bike, $50; hot/cold water dispenser, $150; safe, $75; TV stand, $100 all USD. Call Rick: 984-140-0470.
COPPELIA’S BALLET and Man With the Golden Voice along with Colegio talent is this Saturday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Cultural Center, to benefit the PA library and Colegio art projects. Evening of song and dance;, food and drink for purchase, silent auction of local prizes – dinners, hotel stay, landscaping, fishing trip and more. Donation 100 pesos at school office, library or at the door.
PA theft suspects nabbed;
cameras, police filtros shine
Victim does his share to help in capture
What happens when you blend security cameras, a main gate, victims who care, alert public, police highway filtro, and cooperative businesses? You catch a suspected thief and his moll, that’s what. It just takes a lot of work and patience.
We reported holding back the full story of a house break in Puerto Aventuras two weeks ago at the request of the Colonos and police. We agreed because enforcement officials had a photo of a man and his van coming through the Puerto Aventuras main gate, then driving around the resort aimlessly as would a driver looking for a specific address, not in itself overly suspicious. They didn’t want to alert the suspect in hopes of tracking him down.
Doubts were aroused by the PA security team headed by Jesus Galdeano, who reports directly to Colonos GM Armando Rincon, when a resident on a road near the Catalonia Hotel reported that someone broke a door into his house while his wife was out for 20 minutes doing an errand and stole a wallet containing cash and credit card.
Within several hours after the theft, the thief evidently charged 22000 pesos at four places including the Chedraui Market in Playa del Carmen where he purchased a plasma TV, forging the card owner’s signature.
“My wife didn’t know her wallet was missing until she went out shopping about two hours later and looked for her wallet.” The couple searched high and low but couldn’t find it. It wasn’t until they noticed that a side door to their home had been jimmied that they realized there had been a theft.
They called their bank and learned some 22,000 pesos had been charged to their card at four locations including purchase of a plasma TV set at Chedraui’s in Playa del Carmen. The next day, the victim went to the police station to report the theft. “It took forever but I did it,” he said, because he was concerned for the safety and integrity of his neighbors and his own family.
This victim personifies the maxim that “God helps those who help themselves.” He visited the four businesses where the thief made purchases to get copies of the sales slips as evidence required by the police.
Meticulous in divulging all the details, the summarized story is that management at the Chedraui Supermarket was generously cooperative navigating the company’s strict protocols that would allow the victim to get a copy of a routine photo taken during the thief’s transaction. The PA security chief, Galdeano, was given free rein to help the victim and accompanied him to Playa to collect the photo from Chedraui, which was then matched while reviewing Puerto Aventueras’ security cameras installed last year. “Getting those cameras was a wise investment,” the victim said.
That’s because the suspect had to check in at the main gate where a photo of himself had been glued to a false Argentinian I.D. which had been scanned at the main gate. There were numerous other photos of the vehicle – one with a clear license plate – as it drove around the resort, parked in the Catalonia Hotel parking lot and photos of the thief walking toward the victim’s home. But who was he, where was he, and how did the police find him?
As it turns out, he found the police about two week later on Feb. 23….and then they found him with tips from alert drivers on Highway 307 who reported a red van being driven erratically at 2 a.m. on its way south between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen.
Police at the Number 1 filtro just north of Playa stepped up precautions and when the van arrived, checked the pair for sobriety and listed them as drunk. Then came a bad move: The driver, now identified as Miguel Garcia Morejon, 33, a Cuban traveling with the modified Argentinian papers, attempted to bribe the police with 2000 pesos to let him and his passenger, Maria Vazquez Garcia, 30, pass on. The police described them at that point as arrogant and with an aggressive attitude that rose to the level of physical and verbal assault.
This prompted police to bring the couple to headquarters for interrogation and detain them for 48 hours. In the process, a policeman assigned to investigate the PA theft and coming to work his shift, noticed the license number of the van parked outside the station and found with a few plasma TV sets in the back. Then came interrogation that culminated in a confession when the suspect was shown the photographic evidence.
“He told the police about seven thefts including one from a Canadian citizen in Tulum,” the PA victim said, “but only three were reported to the police.” The victim acknowledges it is a lot of time-consuming trouble for victims to help police pursue criminals, but it is worth the effort, he said. “Otherwise the criminals just go free to commit more crimes.”
The victim lauded the PA security chief for all of his help, the Chedraui organization for providing key evidence and the skill of the people operating the camera systems here and at Chedraui. The suspect and his female partner were arraigned last week on charges of coercion and two counts of fraud for using the credit card. They now face trial without bail. “It shows how important it is for people to take the time and trouble to report crime,” the victim said.
Car flips, lands on roof outside Chedraui
A silver SUV heading north on the Puerto Aventuras overpass evidently went out of control at around 8:30 a.m. last Friday just exiting the overpass, hit the median strip on Highway 307, flipped and landed on its roof in the southbound lane. A number of resort residents heading to Playa or Chedraui saw the accident aftermath including Colonos GM Armando Rincon.
Rincon said it occurred as he was heading for the underpass from the Poblado and saw it just after it happened. He said he immediately called the police on his cell phone but somebody had just called before him. He then called for the Red cross ambulance, which arrived minutes later. There were no reports of death or serious injury but does serve as reminder to drive defensively, particularly when merging into the highway traffic from the resort or Chedraui.
PA students conduct a sit-in
to hasten additional classrooms
A number of high school students from Puerto Aventuras and other areas staged a sit-in outside the municipal Administrative Services Education Unit in Playa del Carmen last week to lobby for more traditional school rooms, saying too many students are relegated to obsolete mobile units.
The sit-in was organized by Orlando Coox Tun, a parent and resident of Puerto Aventuras, who noted the school has only two concrete classrooms while 102 students are pouring in from surrounding villages to get a higher education than that required by the state. The students say the previous municipal administration promised more classrooms but so far there has not been any physical movement toward that goal.
The beginning of a high school campus in the Puerto Aventuras poblado was initiated by Anat Kah about five years ago. Anat Kah, chaired by Christine Alexander, is the area’s United Way. It’s expenditure on the original two-room school house was supplemented in succeeding years by two charity golf tournaments in the resort community chaired by Jim and Jeanette Jamieson of Massachusetts and PA, Bob and Glenna Uecker, fulltime resident owners of Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center and treasurers of the tournament, and many other volunteers. The municipal government was expected to follow through with additional classrooms as budgets permitted.
The Pelican visited the school on Monday (a no-school day) and a helpful watchman there corroborated the fact that the high school was attracting students from Tulum and Playa del Carmen and in between, underscoring other news sources that some 102 students from other communities are attending the high school and filling its existing classrooms.
It appears that three classrooms have been constructed of metal walls behind the original cement block building funded by Anat Kah and the resort golfers. It houses one classroom and office space for school staff. The three or so trailers that were there a year ago are gone, and the watchman, with a sweep of his arm indicating the open land surrounding the school, said he believes the government plans to build more classrooms.
Porto Bello courts sport fishermen
in prime season marketing thrust
If you like fishing, you’ll love living at Porto Bello Private Residence Club in the idyllic marina community of Puerto Aventuras where everything is at your fingertips, a Porto Bello spokesman said this week in time for the fishing season. He described Porto Bello as a fractional option of classic living and lifetime deeded ownership offering units by the month. “Its an attractive option worth serious consideration by the equally serious fisherman who can spend the fishing season doing what he or she likes best, fishing. Everything else is done for them at Porto Bello. Why buy more time than you need?” he said.
So as the fishing season rolls in, he said, the tastefully appointed Porto Bello Residence Club is rolling out the red carpet to fishermen with its “ try before you buy” vacation discount option to potential buyers who know a value when they see one. The plan offers a prime fishing vacation integrated with an opportunity to investigate and settle down in one of Porto Bello’s airy units. It allows plenty of time to fish and to explore a classic living arrangement they can leave to their children or sell for possible profit later on. Click on the Porto Bello logo at left to view its information-packed web site replete with a virtual tour of the premises and extensive fishing information.
The Porto Bello club of one, two and three bedroom units is ideally situated for the fisherman on Grand Marina with a view of fishing boats just across the canal that leads to the Caribbean and its bounty of sailfish, white and blue marlin, dorado, wahoo and many other species.
Or, you can choose to let the Porto Bello club’s concierge lead you to a fly-fishing expedition with established local experts even before you arrive so not a moment of your vacation time is wasted.
The four-story Porto Bello property consisting of three buildings, each with its own canal-side lap pool, dominates the entrance to lushly divided and well-paved Puerto Aventuras Boulevard on one side and the Grand Marina on the other where yachts begin their rituals to the open waters of the Caribbean.
The spokesman said Porto Bello has 1,2 and 3 bedroom choices among its 65 furnished condo units that come fully equipped and serviced, including ample private sunrise terrace with Jacuzzi overlooking the yachting activity. It has a club house and gym and is situated steps from the golf course and other community amenities vacationers appreciate.
“Porto Bello is a gem within a gem,” the spokesman said, referring to the gated community of Puerto Aventuras with its own golf, marina and tennis facilities, beaches, fine private homes and condos. It has roving security personnel, restaurants, beach club, catering services, retailers, dolphin pools and its own democratic form of government in which Porto Bello owners are invited to participate as shareholders. “It’s a protected place where English is as commonly spoken as Spanish,” said the spokesman.
Residents can mingle with friends at the twice-weekly open air fresh fruit and vegetable market, the evening happy hours, or at the well-equipped public library of more than 15,000 English and Spanish books including current best-sellers.
The library, located in the comprehensive elementary through high school campus, is manned by volunteers and offers a lifetime membership for 100 pesos, or roughly $7.50 USD. There are community events such as concerts, road races and sailing regattas and a supermarket within walking distance outside the main gate.
And for icing on the cake, fractional owners at Porto Bello tell you they particularly enjoy the “sense of community and friendship, year after year” at Porto Bello. The experience is paraphrased in a song sung by Judy Garland in the 1950 movie Summer Stock: “ Forget your troubles, come on get happy, let Porto Bello chase your cares away…”
PORTO BELLO CATCH
Tried and true examples of great fishing
abound in the Puerto Aventuras area
Just about a month ago, on the bright, mid-80s morning of Feb. 11, one of Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing skippers on the 31-foot Bertram “Reel Stripper” released a 300-pound Blue Marlin, the first of the season, while the northern part of the hemisphere was immersed in sub-zero temperatures and landing little but ice and snow and wind-whipped sleet.
On the same day, another blue, this time a 175 pounder, was released from the same boat by Rambo. It signals a potentially early run to a promising spring fishing season this year as most boats from the Puerto Aventuras Marina – the largest protected marina between Cancun and Belize – were releasing at least one marlin or bringing home the catch of plentiful wahoo, writes Bob Uecker, owner of Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center for more than a decade. With the largest fleet of sportfishing vessels on the Maya Riviera, Uecker notes “…a lot of boats are bringing them in as well.” Reel in more information by clicking on Capt. Rick’s logo at left to reach the captain’s comprehensive web site loaded with information fishermen want.
…OR HOOK A SNOOK FROM SHORE!……….
One example of a successful fly-fishing vacation is Akumal Fly Fishing operated by Riviera resident expert Rhett Schober who cut his baby teeth in the flowing waters of Colorado and sharpened them along the Riviera Maya coastline for more than two decades perfecting his skills and helping fishing vacationers land some prizes.
He arrived on the Maya Riviera as a college student here to study the Mayan culture but spent much of his time pursuing his then pastimes of fly-tying and fishing while exploring the shoreline wilderness teeming with the sea’ s gifts such as snook and bonefish and making note of the hot spots. Get more information at www.Akumalflyfishing.com
Compiled from staff, contributor and news reports
PUERTO AVENTURAS isn’t the only Riviera Maya community with beach erosion problems. The president of the Mayan Riviera’s hotel association says if the government and private sectors don’t agree to invest on a plan to replenish the beaches, it will create a substantial loss in the tourism sector that is attracted by the beaches…COMPLAINTS are coming in about the questionable quality of the water in the PA dolphin pools. More on that next week.
JUST A BUSINESS TYCOON – The notorious billionaire drug cartel king Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman, arrested recently by Mexican officials, is said to own a conglomerate of 288 “legitimate” businesses spread over several countries, according to the U.S Office of Foreign Asset Control. They include hotels, mines, gas stations and even an ostrich farm and financial company while an associate owns many firms including a day-car center. Guzman also has two charitable foundations – all that without an economics degree from Harvard…MEANWHILE, Guzman’s hideaway at a condo complex in the town of Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast where he was captured has become a popular tourist attraction …THE PEW RESEARCH CENTER says the Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown six-fold from 1970 to 2012 to a population exceeding 53 million…A MANUAL on how to protect and care for cenotes is being considered by the municipal Solidarity Committee on Cenotes… RESIDENTS of Arizona border town Arivaca are monitoring the U.S.border checkpoint amid complaints of verbal abuse, unwarranted detentions and processes that take an unnecessary amount of time…360 COMMANDERS OF Mexico’s new federal police force of 5000 are studying law enforcement practices and procedures in France and Colombia. The force begins work in July…DELTA AIRLINE and Grupo Aeromexico launched a new $60 million maintenance and repair facility to service both airlines in Queretaro, Central Mexico. It will service other airlines as well…
The Mail Bag…
Who is paying the bills?
“Lest anyone mistakenly assume that the loose rock breakwaters being extended continuously in the sea in front of the Omni and Chac Ha Lal are the work of the Omni, I have been assured by the hotel’s manager in a lengthy conversation that, in fact, the hotel has had no part in this project, which intrudes illegally into the Federal Zone.
Both the manager and the workmen extending the breakwater weekly have told me that the Colonos is funding this work. If this is true, Colonos owners are paying for their beach to be defaced. You have met the enemy, and it is you.”
Signed/ Phyllis Boyd
(Ed. Note: Colonos GM Armando Rincon said in response to the above letter that the Colonos is NOT paying for the work in front of the Omni hotel and that he is willing to go with the letter-writer to her sources to prove the point. It has been learned also that Villa del Mar has paid several fines for placing similar barriers in front of its beach in an effort to save what was left of the beach sand. The effort has been to the benefit of the entire resident community that uses that portion of the beach.)
What’s with Dolphin pools?
Does anyone know what is going on with the dolphin pools? Most of the time it looks like a swamp despite efforts to keep it clean. We have heard so many stories including sewage leaks. There is also a box that is dripping something into the water. Please see if you can find out anything because it is a hot topic of conversation!
(Ed. Note: We’re working on it.)
Rescued dog up for adoption
Rosie, a beautiful 2-year-old Collie/Chocolate Lab was found on Hwy 307 near Xcaret. She’s had all her shots and she’s in perfect health. She’s house broken and looking for a “forever home.” Can you help us find someone to adopt her? Thanks. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Library to benefit from auction
By Linda Gosslin. Library Volunteer
Only a few more days until the Rock ‘N’ Roll Magic Extravaganza, Saturday March 8 at 7 PM. Many excellent silent auction items will be available for bidding, so bring some cash. All proceeds of the auction go toward support of the library.This is only a partial list of donated items: Two night stay in Junior Suite at Hotel Paamul (value 3000p/$240); A ‘Discover Scuba’ dive from Dive Aventuras (value $110); Dinner at Latitude 20 (value 500 pesos); Two hours of landscape/gardening services from Greenway Landscaping (value 500 pesos); three cinnamon rolls and three sticky buns from Donna’s Bakery, Cafe & Teahouse; scrapbook and an apron from Galeria Lamanai, Akumal (value 965 pesos).
Auction items continue to be donated. We expect to have five or six additional premium items to offer by Saturday evening.
Tickets to the extravaganza are 100 pesos per person, available at the school office or in the PA library from 2:30 to 4:30 PM Monday through-Friday. Tickets will also be available at the door. Part of the ticket proceeds also support the PA Library. Memberships in the library will be available at the event, and of course, donations in any amount are welcome. Thank you to the Puerto Aventuras and the Riviera Maya for their ongoing support of our unique library. You make it possible for us to be there for you all year long.
Phrase a Week…
“ Today we know that crooks can be caught” In Spanish, you could say “Hoy sabemos que pueden atrapar ladrones ”
Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.
AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.