My turn to get robbed

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
Lloyd007
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Lloyd007 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:35 pm

My turn. Well, almost....

I had lunch the other day at a very nice restaurant which has one of the best ceviche's I had ever tasted which I enjoyed very much! When I asked to pay for the services with my card while sitting at my table, the waiter came over with the visa machine on a drinks tray and asked for my card which I gave him. I heard him swipe it two times and immediately got up and asked him to show me what he's got in his other hand (a card is only ever swiped once!). I knew exactly what was going on and he handed over his ''card skimmer'' and placed it on the table. Not even a denial of ''what are you talking about? I didn't do anything'' - he was caught red handed! It was early and there were only 2 other tables occupied in the restaurant. The restaurant owner was in the building and he came over too, taking the waiter to the side while he called Serenazgo and the police.

The owner then took the time and accompanied me to the bank and we skipped the queue of people so I could cancel my card and check the latest transactions. All was OK.

Later in the day, I got a written apology and an offer of free lunch with dessert for a MONTH! How about that for outstanding customer service?!? And in a country that has no idea about customer service. Impressive. I thought I'd be lucky to get a free lunch the next day, let alone for a month!

Hats off to the way the manager dealt with the situation and the response was outstanding.

If I were an ignorant gringo, my local bank account would now be empty...!


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chi chi
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby chi chi » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:44 pm

Lloyd007 wrote:My turn. Well, almost....

I had lunch the other day at a very nice restaurant which has one of the best ceviche's I had ever tasted which I enjoyed very much! When I asked to pay for the services with my card while sitting at my table, the waiter came over with the visa machine on a drinks tray and asked for my card which I gave him. I heard him swipe it two times and immediately got up and asked him to show me what he's got in his other hand (a card is only ever swiped once!). I knew exactly what was going on and he handed over his ''card skimmer'' and placed it on the table. Not even a denial of ''what are you talking about? I didn't do anything'' - he was caught red handed! It was early and there were only 2 other tables occupied in the restaurant. The restaurant owner was in the building and he came over too, taking the waiter to the side while he called Serenazgo and the police.

The owner then took the time and accompanied me to the bank and we skipped the queue of people so I could cancel my card and check the latest transactions. All was OK.

Later in the day, I got a written apology and an offer of free lunch with dessert for a MONTH! How about that for outstanding customer service?!? And in a country that has no idea about customer service. Impressive. I thought I'd be lucky to get a free lunch the next day, let alone for a month!

Hats off to the way the manager dealt with the situation and the response was outstanding.

If I were an ignorant gringo, my local bank account would now be empty...!


Fair play to you.

It's one of the reasons why I always pay cash. Paying cash is cheaper too. No ripp off bank charges and no chance to skim your card.
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Alan
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Alan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:37 pm

[quote="Lloyd007"
Later in the day, I got a written apology and an offer of free lunch with dessert for a MONTH! How about that for outstanding customer service?!? And in a country that has no idea about customer service. Impressive. I thought I'd be lucky to get a free lunch the next day, let alone for a month!

Hats off to the way the manager dealt with the situation and the response was outstanding.

If I were an ignorant gringo, my local bank account would now be empty...![/quote]

Lloyd, if it´s not an indiscretion, can you share the name of the restaurant? Good service like that is worth rewarding with some positive publicity.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby gooo » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:03 pm

I just wanted to leave a few anecdotes and suggestions my family and I have gathered over the years regarding thievery.

- My cousin told me that if you live next to a construction site, you're done. The workers who work with thieves will track when you are at work and scout out your place while they work above or level with your apartment or house. Make sure nobody can see in. He got his laptop and mounted TV stolen in Lima.
- I've never been robbed. I haven't lived in Peru in a while, but I do spend about 4 months out of the year there. I have walked down very dangerous streets in Lima late at night. Walk with a purpose. Don't stare at people's eyes, but don't look away either (Godfather reference anyone?)
- My grandmother actually felt bad for her robber. "He has to feed his family, poor guy". :lol:
- My mother says that she used to check her pockets while sitting down in transportation or once she got home and she used to find that her pockets had holes in them. Thieves cut holes in her pockets to steal her stuff and she didn't even notice at the time.
- My father says that he got robbed once while he had a gun on himself. He says the urge to shoot the thief is great, but you will probably be the one going to jail. He was transporting money for my grandfather so he carried around a revolver at the time when he dangled his hand out of the bus. Watch was gone.
- There are uncommon setups. For example, you see a man beating a woman on a street corner. From what I've been told, don't stop to help, it could be a setup.
- There are certain places where the people will help you if you get robbed while in others they make way for the thief.
- Sadly, family isn't off limits. I completely trust my family, except for a couple few who are shameless. My cousin stole several hundred dollars from my grandmother and then ran off with her son. We found her and we were only able to recover some of it. She said she spent the money on her son, so my grandmother didn't do anything. We knew our cousin before, but now we have it crystal clear.
- Be careful with the maid. The only maids my family has had are ones brought from small villages that my family knows. The kind of towns where everybody knows everybody. One person recommends a cousin or niece, so they come to work.
- Always walk around in groups at night. There's been a few nights/mornings where we've had to walk back after a party. Even a drunk group is better than walking alone sober.
- If you ever catch a thief or person who committed a crime. Accompany the police (and the thief) to the station. He might be able to pay his way out or have a family member go to the station and pay him out. A few months ago, a drunk driver crashed into my uncle's car. My cousins and uncles heard and went after him. The driver fell asleep further down the road. When I got there the police seemed to be about to let him go once his daughter showed up. My cousin and uncle went down to the station in order to actually get the incident reported with pictures of the damage. Otherwise the guy may have gone free that night without a report to show the insurance people. Eventually, I think his daughter managed (paid) to get the offense lowered.
- When traveling, take cameras, laptops, and tablets with you in your carry-on or personal bag. The agents at the airport steal stuff from your luggage. My sister just had her camera stolen from her luggage. My dad has had stuff stolen, too. If they say something can't be passed, tell them to break it or throw it away in front of you (cigars, alcohol, perfume). Make a big deal out of it, if they refuse.
- I always walk with my hands in my pockets. Don't know if this has anything to do with never being robbed.
- It is possible to get your car back once it's been stolen. You just have to drop some money on the police. A family member got his car stolen and he didn't get any help until he gave the serenazgo and police some incentive. He still thinks it was a job by the serenazgo and guardian.
- On a slightly lighter note. When you invite someone and only want them to come, ask them to come caleta or without making a huge thing out of it (discreetly). We've wanted to have a small five person gathering at a restaurant, but ended up with 15 people. And had to pay the bill. :mrgreen:
- Another technical thievery one. The kids who wash your windows at the stoplights, just give them 10-50 centimos. Even if you said no to them, they can get angry and throw their water at you and your car or throw a rock at your windshield.
- Have a trusted taxi driver. Usually a family friend or one you've know for years. When I go to and from the airport and out at night I use them. Otherwise call a trusted taxi company. The extra wait and price are completely worth it.
- When on a combi, be astute. A loud bump on the side of a combi is sometimes a distraction for a thief to steal stuff from the window (opposite from the sound).
- Be very careful when waiting in line or standing around a large group of people. Thieves open your zippers and it's easy to go unnoticed with all the bumping. I've seen this in places like Jockey Plaza.
- Ask to see an ID from servicemen. Sometimes thieves can dress up as water or electricity men to get in your house.
- According to a well-renowned journalist, the little kids who ask for change are being exploited. They have homes and are just there to draw sympathy.
- There are many tricks in the book, if something feels weird, it probably is.
- Get a certain level of cynicism. It's good to have. But also enjoy people you trust and the people that they trust. Really great hangouts have come from tagging along with a cousin or friend and people you barely know.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby gringito » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:55 pm

As I already wrote here in another sub-forum, some time ago I was assaulted near my house, in the park of our Urbanizacion, only 50 meters away from the vigilantes...and I had to get quite serious to get out of this mess. Don´t trust the watchimanes, they won´t help you.

It took 18 years until it was my turn. Get rid of the "it never happens to me" syndrome.
In Lima, it WILL happen to you - sooner or later - and even in Miraflores, La Molina, San Borja, San Isidro etc..

Recently, in Miraflores, in the middle of the night, at the way home to a friend´s house, I had to “evacuate” the scene quickly since three fellows began to stalk me.

@Wine Lover:
Aikido or another type of martial art usually will not help you. In Peru, in particular in Lima, you usually get mobbed by a team of 2, 3 or even 5 or more thugs. The method is called “cogoteo” or “atracos”. Some examples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcT_CxqI3Tc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtNbZXcDX0E

Even a single thug will usually have his “tail gunner”.

@sanbartoloian:
This is also the reason why many Peruvians (btw: in the same way as many Americans in the USA…) do not intervene. There exists a realistic danger of getting shot, stabbed or maimed.

@MartitaAQP:
I agree that street robbery in Peru is “usually” not that violent as in the United States BUT it is QUITE dangerous to generalize. If you read the newspapers you will ascertain that there is not a single day without people beeing harmed or murdered for some Soles.

A baton or a stun gun is better than nothing but once again, one cannot generalize. It may serve well against a drunk or a single attacker. However, taking into consideration that in Lima you will be confronted with multiple attackers, the chances are high that you will get hurt by your own non lethal weapon.

I congratulate you that you cannot imagine killing a 17 year old kid who is trying to grab a wallet since this is NOT a situation in which lethal force would be adequate, reasonable or even justified.

On the other hand, if you have scruples to employ deadly force when your life is threatened, you WILL get killed or maimed. Your scruples show that you grant your ethics and humanism to a person, i.e. the thug, who does NOT share the same values and who will not hesitate to do you harm for some Soles.

Moreover, in contrast to your opinion, the Peruvian jurisprudence regarding self defense is VERY (!) similar to the American jurisprudence as regards. One particularity (which, however, can also be found in SOME US states) is that in Peru, for justifying legitimate use of deadly force in self defense, it is necessary that you have not provoked the incident (see for example Art. 20 c of the Peruvian Codigo Penal). The Peruvian Supreme Court has approvoaved numerous decisions regarding self defense quite simialr to those in the U.S.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby tupacperu » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:31 am

The ultimate thing is to limit the damage done.

I carry a credit card and ID in my small jean pocket. I also carry 50 soles in small change and bills. If I am robbed or grabbed I hopefully can get my hand in my pocket and toss it out on the ground (making them scramble for the money).

I do not allow taxis to hold a telephone conversation while I am riding , I ask if they not answer their phone, if they must I pay the fare and ask they they let me off immediately.

I refuse to own a car, and I do not wear jewelry or anything of value outwardly. I have not been robbed so far (10 years), but I had my internet cafe burglarized in 2006 (inside job). Sold it shortly after that, and moved toward passive investments, internet, rental properties etc... I do not take large sums from the ATM, all transactions are done on a $300 limit credit card, which I payoff over the internet, immediately after purchased. I do not transact business at the teller window. They are sometimes connected with thieves that are waiting outside the bank. In many cases they relay the quantity withdrawn to waiting taxis or thieves. Had a situation where the thieves knew exactly how much money my Uncle had withdrawn, when they robbed him and he tried to give them 200 soles.

I do not catch a taxi in front of a bank and neither to I allow them to let me off in front of my home. I get out of the taxi at the corner and walk to my door.

This may seem like paranoia , but it is the price you pay for living in a country where foreigners are consider to be carrying a bank in their pockets .
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Lloyd007 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:48 pm

by Alan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:37 pm
Lloyd, if it´s not an indiscretion, can you share the name of the restaurant? Good service like that is worth rewarding with some positive publicity.


Alan, the restaurant is excellent and is called Akipa, opposite BCP in Centro Commercial Chacarilla. The food is outstanding and most dishes about 22-26 soles. The ''Ceviche Akipa'' was one of the best ceviche's I've ever had :D The lomo saltado is also A1+
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Mamita0352 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:45 pm

Really sorry this happened. Remember, it could've been worse. It was 'just' a camera, which in the scheme of things was nowhere as awful as losing your wallet, docs, or all your $$ and credit cards. Bad Karma to those who stole from you. Elizabeth
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby chi chi » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:10 pm

Mamita0352 wrote:Really sorry this happened. Remember, it could've been worse. It was 'just' a camera, which in the scheme of things was nowhere as awful as losing your wallet, docs, or all your $$ and credit cards. Bad Karma to those who stole from you. Elizabeth


The best thing is not to carry a wallet and not all your things in one pocket. This avoids losing everything in one swoop.
Also don't put things in your backpocket. It's easier to steal.

Pay cash in restaurants and shops. I works out cheaper too as you don't have to pay the extortionate bankcharges and interests, they can't clone your card and in case you pay with a foreign cards, they can't charge you ripp off exchange rates.

Some gringos walk around all day with their passport? You don't need it for anything. Leave it at home. And if you want to keep an ID on you, just take a copy with you.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Lloyd007 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:56 pm

Very good advice from our Chi Chi.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby gringito » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:13 pm

Some days ago the peruvian wife (a Mirafloreña) of one of my friends was robbed in the Calle Berlin near the Malecon in Miraflores. The thugs were two well dressed bicyclists. They intercepted her while she took a walk with her handicapped kid in order to attend a meeting in a restaurant. One threatened her with a knife and also intimidated her verbally. She lost her handbag, her cell phone, about 200 Soles in cash and her D.N.I.

When we talked about the incident we hit the usual advice, that “it might be better for women in Lima not to take her handbag on the street”.
She laughed at me and said this type of advice, wherever it comes from, can only derive from a man´s mouth and is off the beaten track of reality. “A hand bag is a must for a women. Where do we store all these little things we need? In a handbag, pues! I will never leave without my handbag!¨ Something like that were her words.

This reminded me that risk and threat analysis and realistic security training are usually quite different for men and women.

“Did you report the incident to the police?”, I asked her.
”Are you kidding?!”, she said, “This is wasted time and money. They never do anything about it”.
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Re: My turn to get robbed

Postby Formidable 1 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:04 am

Chiclayo gringo wrote:I was stooped down with one foot inside the combi when my wife shouted out “Your camera!” I carry (now I need to say carried) my camera in a case on my belt. I’ve done that for two years. There were two of them. One cut the belt loop and was running before I even knew what happened. I chased after them but had no chance of catching them. I was shouting “robbers” at the top of my lungs but of the many people in the area – this was 3:00pm in the afternoon, just one hour ago, no one even attempted to help.

What bothers me is that we saw the two guys walk past the combi stop twice. My wife said they were looking us over. Where I went wrong was thinking I was safe entering the combi. At least I learned that lesson. Nowhere is safe in this country.

Tom


That's a shame, Tom.
But a good idea to go out and toss the football around to get your mind off the theft.
Did you replace your camera?

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