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Fast Response Leads to Vehicle Recovery...Before Owner Even Knows It Was Stolen

 ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO---An alert security guard and fast police response led to the vehicle of a San Diego County tourist being recovered before its owner even knew it was stolen.

      "It was amazing," said Gary Pimentel of Vista, California, whose Ford F350 was stolen from the dirt road leading to the popular Popotla fishing village just south of downtown Rosarito.

     The suspected thief was arrested within minutes after a very brief police pursuit and Pimentel got his vehicle back the next day.

     Pimentel, who also has a home in Baja, had gone to the area of shops and restaurants to buy some shrimp on the afternoon of Jan. 9. He parked on the dirt road past the landmark white arch to the popular tourist attraction.

     About 3:30 a security guard saw a man apparently break into Pimentel's vehicle and drive it away. He immediately called the emergency 066 number and officers from Rosarito's tourist police force quickly converged on the area.

      Four tourist police officers --- Victor Ángel Vela Gazca, Christian Arturo Franco Balderas, Edgar Servando Luna Morales and Christian Fabián Preciado Arreola --- spotted the vehicle a short distance away, near the 7-Eleven by the Scenic Road entrance.

     The driver of the stolen vehicle tried to flee on foot. But tourist police officers arrested a suspect, Rodolfo Hernandez, 35 of Tijuana.

      "You guys are doing a great job," Pimentel, the happy owner of the recovered vehicle told police and city officials who assisted him with the recovery. He said it was the first time he'd ever had a problem in eight years of visiting the region.

      "Cars get stolen everywhere but it's very unusual to see one recovered this quickly," Pimentel said,

     Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres, who started the tourist police force two years ago, praised the effort of both the security guard and the officers who responded so quickly.

      "This is how exactly how the response system is supposed to work," said Torres, who also formed a city office for tourist attention, a citizens' watch program with 400 members and an ombudsman's office to assist visitors with any problems.

      Torres also began the system of issuing bilingual tickets to visitors which can be mailed in with fines from the U.S. 

      Crime in Rosarito the first 11 months of 2009 declined 21 percent from the previous year, to its lowest level in five years.

MEDIA CONTACT:                      

Ron Raposa 
Cell: (619)948-3740


U.S. Mailing Address:

2751 Lincoln Court 
National City, CA 91950

Published Monday, January 18, 2010 4:02 PM by Kanoa Biondolillo
Filed under: ,


# re: Fast Response Leads to Vehicle Recovery...Before Owner Even Knows It Was Stolen

Friday, January 22, 2010 12:17 PM by adventuremike

This is really the type of article that SHOULD be floating around the internet. If something negative happens in Mexico... its on 100's of travel & news sites within minutes. I hope this article is being passed around promoting the efforts that the tourist police have made to make Baja a safer place to visit.

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