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Thread: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Let me explain. I was robbed, sort of. En route from Leon to Managua wearing baggy cargo shorts my wallet was picked from one of my Velcro-closed flap pockets. OK, t’was my stupid error, but there's more. I was engrossed in reading a La Prensa article on Daniel's daughter-in-law pulling down $1.69 million in one contract as General Manager of DNP (Distributor of Nica Petroleum). [Describing La Familia's telarana LP states, "The Ortega-Murillo family actually have absolute power."] Anyway, I felt the young man sitting next to me fiddling by my pants, so I turned to look at him and checked my other pocket on that side. My cash was all there. But he looked me straight in the face with the silliest, shit-eating grin I've ever seen in Nicaragua. (I know now this atypical behavior indicated his nervousness.) Stone-faced I stared back at the fool, little realizing I was being played for the fool. That was early in the hour & an half trip.


    Entering Managua the well-dressed guy next to him was one of the first to leave. (We all sat on the rear bench seat of the van.) At this point I felt the kid touching my wallet, which I reflexively reached to check. It was there, though upside-down - something I felt but it didn't register with me as WRONG. [My wallet is curved, a shape earned from years of pressure by hemispherical flesh under tension of jeans straining to contain said flesh.] But that pocket was half open. I told my wife the guy was trying to take my wallet and stared at him. Again that exaggerated grin and he started talking rapidly saying how it was the seatbelt I'd felt when he brushed against me. In that moment he got off the van into the madhouse that is Mercado Israel. I looked in my wallet. All the cash was there: 800 cords + $55 dollars (in the 'secret' fold). My IDs & photos were there, but my visa credit card was missing. My wife wanted to get off then & there and chase the guy down. I said no. I wasn't sure I hadn't left it someplace. After all, everything else looked untouched.


    We had no cell phone with us. Error. (I bought 5 in my 6 years here; the one still working we left with the kids this trip.) But I had my netbook with me.


    We went directly to the MetroCentro mall. They have no public phones. The Claro & MoviStar stores did not offer the service. So we parked in Casa del Cafe over $1.50 cup o'joe and Skyped 'home'. No card there. So I called the bank's "lost or stolen" number. The operator told me that within 30 minutes four charges totalling $2,701.76 dollars were made. That's 62,120 cords folks. "Don't worry, you won't be liable. Do you want us to send you another card?" Nice, friendly service, however they could not send it to me in Nicaragua. "I understand." She told me where the charges were made.


    Three 'purchases' (which I calculate to be 11,500(twice) + 13,800 cordovas) were made at Xtreme, address: Plaza Espana circle in Managua. There's no such business in the new phone book. (No surprise.) But I saw that Xtracar had a Plaza Espana circle address. So after we finished our business at MetroCentro and slurped down a couple gelatos we went there. (It's beside Simsa.) I considered involving the police but didn’t. It looks like a too clean, well-painted, open garage, all cement, with nine car bays under roof and a heavy-duty main door on rollers; all very secure. A new Audi was parked in one bay. A lot of well-dressed beefy guys were standing around, no one working; several could have been extras from a Mafioso flic. It wasn't clear at a glance what their business is. Inside we had to ask where the store was. It had car stereo systems & car alarms. (I saw a stack of boxes of big JBL speakers, 275W-1100 peak, that would blow the windows out of an Audi.) I explained to the one clerk - who looked like a Dallas defensive guard - why we were there. Who made these charges on my card?, as if that was the place. He got visibly nervous and sent us around the corner to a closet-size office where this sweet gal tried to help us. She showed me that there had been only one charge made there all day, for some 500 cords. (Thriving business, huh?) While we waited she called on speakerphone to ask for all visa credit purchases made that day to their business (giving its code), but rather than simply telling her they gave her a major runaround. We left after some 15-20 minutes.


    I was in over my head. Besides I, the victim, lost nothing except a now-worthless plastic card. (I have other credit & ATM debit cards. Viva l'plastique!). The Visa folk were informed of the crime within an hour of the fraudulent charges, so I'd guess that any true bank transfers have been suspended. I believe the young man who picked my pocket passed my wallet on to the well-dressed guy beside him who left first, with my card. Putting my wallet back shows a level of sophistication that could have bought them more time to use the card (if I hadn't noticed it missing until I next tried to use it). I'm guessing that was their gambit otherwise why forsake some $90 worth of cash? Enterprizing thieves know where they can fence their loot. The guy with my card had to have taken a taxi direct to Xtracar, or had a friend drive him there &c. He went to another store Con Cell (also near Plaza Espana circle) for a 25,380 cord purchase(?). (Not in the phonebook either. Told they sell Mexican cellphones from a kiosk south of the circle.) All done within 30 minutes, as I said. It's doubtful any merchandise was involved. Did anybody profit here?


    It's freaky how it made me feel. As soon as I'd fully grasped what had happened I felt more foreign than ever, surrounded by unfriendly brown-skinned natives. Thankfully that passed quickly cause I'm married to one sweet, little native. But when I got home I had to have a couple shots of scotch. Sorry Don Pellas but your pirates’ rum just wasn't going to cut it.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    That's why I have a dummy wallet with fake bills and expired credit cards from non-existant accounts. And why I never ever let my guard down. Not sure I could have resisted the urge to wipe the smile right off the shithead's face.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    sorry to hear of it...

    didn't you post somewhere that a trip to matagalpa by car was 20$ but by bus was 3$ and that bus ride was a gift? maybe the luxury of the car ride is worth it?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    didn't you post somewhere that a trip to matagalpa by car was 20$ but by bus was 3$ and that bus ride was a gift? maybe the luxury of the car ride is worth it?
    True, that's the flip-side of that coin, greater security comes at a price and there are times when it's worth it. As Bigh Jonh said, my guard was down, having taken that trip too many relaxed times. But there are added risks to driving here, namely accidents and a justice system that sees you as a guilty gringo before any facts are known.

    I guess I was 'lucky' that lesson didn't cost me anything but inconvenience. Or was it that the thieves had seen JR & Ray's comedy routine (INN - channel 4)) asking Managua's robbers to become kinder & gentler?
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    But there are added risks to driving here, namely accidents and a justice system that sees you as a guilty gringo before any facts are known.
    how about an in car camera to record your driving. then when you get arrested for the accident, you make a couple of copies, post one to you tube and give a copy of your exonerating evidence to everyone? including the newspapers?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    how about an in car camera to record your driving. then when you get arrested for the accident, you make a couple of copies, post one to you tube and give a copy of your exonerating evidence to everyone? including the newspapers?
    You don't live here, do you?

    It's easier to buy the judge a new Mercedes SUV, to match the Ortega's, and the opposing parties a new house.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Active TRN Member marnica's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    That is exactly the reason I always use a chauffeur. For 300 cords for the day he is responsible to deal with the natives and the police and the wife can shop till she drops all the while he looks after the truck and the purchases. We sleep there and back without worry, well not too much anyway. He also knows his way around Managua far better then I ever will. So for $13 it is well worth it to me and with a simple cell call he picks us up right where we want him to. An added plus someone has good job for the day and if all goes well for sure an other.
    Here in the real world they're shutting Detroit down.

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    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    I guess many would say, "All's well that ends well." But I am not sure all ended well...

    You didn't lose any money, but were put out a bit...
    Who has to pay for this loss? Is it the credit card company?

    Is there Any kind of investigation going on? I have to doubt it. I would have to think these kinds of things go on for as long as the crime team wants, or until someone is caught in the act and held until police come on to the scene. And even in this case I have to assume the gringo comes out the bad guy for not letting some poor Nica rip off some credit card company.
    Survivor

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    That's why I have a dummy wallet with fake bills and expired credit cards from non-existant accounts.
    Two weeks ago we saw "Tin Tin'. The kids told me I should have tied my wallet to me with elastic cord.

    Tell me: did you ever confuse the dummy with your real wallet and try to pay what you owed with counterfeit bills?_
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by randude View Post
    Who has to pay for this loss?
    Is there Any kind of investigation going on? . . . And even in this case I have to assume the gringo comes out the bad guy for not letting some poor Nica rip off some credit card company.
    It's not clear to me that there's any real loss. It's not like an electronic bank transfer; it's a credit transaction that requires verification. They usually sit on charges for 24 hours before posting.

    Visa handles many transactions globally and they have a hefty fraud division. They have to protect their business. In a country like Nicaragua, credit charges are usually larger amounts that tourists make, so it's in Nica's interest too.

    I may be the bad guy, but these are lessons worth learning. Poor doesn't mean stupid. Better to be poor & free than poor & in jail fighting off a guy named Spike, IMO.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    after utilizing the bus for over a year to get to and from work, I have made the conculsion or feel more comfortable with all of my shit in a little backpack that I hold in my hand at all times. Nothing but 2.50 cordobas in my pocket. Typically I have a tight grip on the backpack and I am holding the bar above me with that same hand.

    If someone grabs the bag... I know they have it. If someone goes in my pocket that everyone bumps over and over, I have no clue. I even used to put the stuff in one pocket and keep my hand in it too... but that is to hard to maneuver around the bus.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Two weeks ago we saw "Tin Tin'. The kids told me I should have tied my wallet to me with elastic cord.

    Tell me: did you ever confuse the dummy with your real wallet and try to pay what you owed with counterfeit bills?_
    Dummy wallet goes in my back pocket (right now it's in my car, in the center console, as one of several strategies to deal with Hicksville scum), and for at least ten years I carried my real wallet in my front pocket. Now I've managed to slim down the contents of my wallet to fit in a small thin business card holder which rides next to my phone in a belt holster. What I'd really like is a wallet I saw in a James Bond movie, that when the scumbag reaches into my pocket it clamps down like a bear trap and inflicts excruciating pain.

    You were indeed lucky, and so were the thieves. They got what the were after and will probably never get caught. The losers are the credit card holders who have to collectively cover the cost of the loss.

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    I guess we all get kinda laid back down here in one way or another. I don't even carry a wallet any more let alone any ID where I am. But a trip to the big City I do have to go back in time with those things.

    3F reminds me of a Glen Campbell song, A Subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    "Off-body" carry of valuables just makes it easier for them to take your stuff, unless you have a death-grip on it as 3F says.

    A subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe; A .32 gun in his pocket for fun, and a razor in his shoe.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    You don't live here, do you?

    It's easier to buy the judge a new Mercedes SUV, to match the Ortega's, and the opposing parties a new house.
    nope and $299: http://gopro.com/cameras/hd-hero2-motorsports-edition/
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  16. #16

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    "Off-body" carry of valuables just makes it easier for them to take your stuff, unless you have a death-grip on it as 3F says.

    A subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe; A .32 gun in his pocket for fun, and a razor in his shoe.
    i got a .38 under my bed..... not for fun... but for self defense.

    it's in a little gun safe for quick access... i sleep well now...
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Well the early risers are on here I see, Cookshoe, and DSB and myself.

    I need to get me a .22 with ratshot for my home invaders...

    Damn rats back again. I don't care about Disney, Hanna-Barberra, or any others that want to make hero's of the basturds...

    I WANT THEM DEAD....

    Had two would have been nice shots this morning working on my first cup of Joe...

    Welcome to Paradise....
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    i got a .38 under my bed..... not for fun... but for self defense.

    it's in a little gun safe for quick access... i sleep well now...
    Correction, it's in a safe to keep the kids from getting to it, which makes for very slow access for you.

  19. #19
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    That is why I like the automatics easier to make them safe or effective FAST...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  20. #20

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Correction, it's in a safe to keep the kids from getting to it, which makes for very slow access for you.
    yes..... but it used to be in a large safe in the closet... and to get to the closet you had to go through the bathroom.... and that safe had a big safe dial with right, left, right... turn a big handle... go through a ton of stuff.... got the gun...

    now under my bed where i am sleeping, 3 push buttons and a # button and i got the gun and action jackson is ready for action...

    (Big Luke Grin! )
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default

    My nightstand .45 just needs three tumblers turned and a zipper undone and the castle is doctrined.

  22. #22

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    My nightstand .45 just needs three tumblers turned and a zipper undone and the castle is doctrined.
    any protection from the kids getting their hands on said .45?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    My nightstand .45 just needs three tumblers turned and a zipper undone and the castle is doctrined.

    Trigger Lock?


    You know I don't really like guns that much. I almost unloaded one on a guy over a traffic accident when I was in my 20s. I decided then it is too much risk.
    Survivor

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    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    any protection from the kids getting their hands on said .45?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    My nightstand .45 just needs three tumblers turned and a zipper undone and the castle is doctrined.
    A combination lock operates by turning tumblers until they line up in the right combination.

  25. #25

    Default Re: The victim of a 'victimless crime'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    in car video of sjds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um1B-...ature=youtu.be
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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