Express kidnappings on the rise in Panama

712Views 0Comments Posted 28/11/2010

“Express” kidnappings are again on the rise in Panama says a public prosecutor who has warned drivers to be “extremely careful” when involved in accidents in remote areas.

La  Prensa carried a report, confirmed by Prosecutor Ángel Calderón, about a couple driving away from restaurant in San Francisco at 10 in the evening and being hit from behind by another car.
When they got out of the vehicle to inspect the damage, they were confronted by an armed man who forced them into the other vehicle.
Then began a night of terror for the couple, whose names are being withheld. The incident ended up costing them their car and about $10,000 in stolen property.
One of the robbers drove away with the couple's luxury automobile, the other two men drove them to various ATM machines to withdraw money. They also stole all of the items the couple had in their possession, including mobile phones, credit cards, jewelry and other personal items.
After about four hours, the victims were released in  Coco del Mar,and warned not to contact police as the robbers knew where they lived.
The couple did contact the authorities, but it took about an hour for the police to begin taking a statement . In that time, the robbers committed one more criminal act, using one of the credit cards to withdraw cash from an ATM in Chanis.
Calderon said there have been several other "express kidnappings" reported in Panama City in recent weeks.

In each case, the robbers intentionally hit another car, and when the vehicle stops, the kidnapping takes place.