September 15, 2012

Travelers Should Stay Vigilant in the Quito and Guayaquil Airports

Are you traveling to Cuenca? It is time to be more aware of your surroundings in the airports. It has been reported that there were 102 robberies from January to August 2012 in the Quito airport of people’s luggage and carry-ons. Why so many thefts? Well, people are not keeping a close eye on their bags.

When you fly into Ecuador you will usually land either in the Guayaquil airport or the Quito airport.We landed in the Guayaquil airport, which we were told by a local Ecuadorian who lives in Guayaquil, and who was flying with us, to NEVER take your eyes off your luggage while in the airport. In fact she was very helpful and gave us tips on how to stay safe while in the Guayaquil airport.

We brought into Ecuador with us 10 suitcases plus our carry-ons and as you know it can be stressful getting your entire luggage off the conveyer belt; there are big crowds and lots of people. Luckily we were four people (me and my three sons) so two people stayed with the luggage at all times while two of us grabbed the luggage off the conveyor belt as it came off the plane.

Once we had all our luggage off the conveyor and on the cart we were also instructed by the very kind and helpful Ecuadorian woman to not wander out of the airport with all of the luggage. She went on to tell me there are fake taxis that will steal your luggage and or harm you personally.  She told me that she would hail us a cab.

This is when I told her that Frank had already arranged a van to pick us up and the driver would be waiting for us outside of the baggage area, holding a sign with our names on it. Even though I told her it was prearranged she thoroughly checked out the van driver to make sure it was legit company before she gave me the ok for the boys and I to put our luggage in the back of the van.  She was questioning the driver in very quick Spanish. It was apparent by the way the young Ecuadorian looked she was giving him a mini-interrogation. She was so helpful!

Here is the full article about these latest airport thefts. The news article is translated into English. Unfortunately the translation does not always translate correctly but I think you’ll get the gist of the news article.
 

                                  Quito Ecuador Airport:
102 reported robberies of individuals Jan. through Aug. 2012


They needed just two minutes to take the suitcase. The passenger's departure left the national arrival at the airport Mariscal Sucre. He went to the bathroom, but when he returned and did not see the small briefcase. Lost a laptop.

The details yesterday told an agent that monitors the outside of the airport and the passenger recalled that he saw three men running with bag. The man alerted police. The soldiers followed him and the suspects threw the computer before taking the avenue of the press. They got into a vehicle and fled.

Yesterday, on his Twitter account, footballer Antonio Valencia claimed for the loss of his camera. The social network said the device was gone when he checked his bag before his flight departed for England. The footballer published the image of his empty bag. "Someone is taking with bag and everything," he said. "This unworthy," he wrote later. Inside the terminal, there are six filters that performs police at the airport. These controls are, for example, to prevent drug trafficking.

Yesterday, the Public Company Metropolitan Airport Services, responsible for the internal security of the Mariscal Sucre, did not comment. But the airport's Twitter account announced the start of the investigation. "We are in contact with representatives of A. Valencia and are conducting all investigations of rigor ". KLM, the company I traveled Valencia, told this newspaper that also began investigations and will decide after completing the process.

Yesterday, police officers in the field revealed that the airport operates four criminal groups allegedly involved in robbing people. Researchers know this method as 'descuideros'. That is, the strangers take advantage of times when users leave their belongings for minutes and take them.

The number 2 subcircuit Police, which patrols the outside of the airport, is on file at least 15 photographs of alleged members of one of the largest illegal organizations operating in the sector. The police estimate that one of these networks make up at least 30 people. The three remaining bands would consist of three or four
people.

How do they operate? The suspects come with suits, ties, glasses or confused and briefcases loaded with passengers.

These data are part of an official investigation. There are cases in which even has network of 30 branches. A support group subtracted objects, others give alert ('ringers') and the rest managed to escape vehicles. From January to August this year, the airport sector there have been 102 robberies people.

In surrounding neighborhoods like La Concepcion, Baker, La Luz and Florida totaling 160 reports of theft. These data are recorded in the Metropolitan Public Safety Observatory. A Tribune Quito Consumer complaints have not reached baggage theft.

Last year we received only one case involving loss of belongings at airports. The subcircuit Police registered a complaint number 2 monthly for theft of luggage at the airport. Agents say that drive the offense down since there are more controls. For the sector 35 police community are intended. Two more are of the Judicial Police and four of the Tourist Police.

Two years ago, the military reported the case of a tourist strangers whom he stole USD 15 000 he carried in a suitcase. Officers have identified that the time between 06:00 and 6:30 is more vulnerable for tourists, usually move to Galapagos. Arrive 50 to 60 people. "Many foreigners trust and leave their things thrown away thinking that nothing will happen," says Petty Officer of the Tourism Police, Luis Pulupa. He says that most burglaries occur by the 'neglect' of passengers when they go to the bathroom or get distracted while eating.

The Community Policing Unit operating in the place receives complaints, but those affected can also go to the Prosecutor or PJ. Avoid crimes Place small metal padlocks on luggage locks so no one open. Keep keys in a safe place (briefcase or handbag). While in the airport, not apart from his luggage. Stay all the time with their luggage until they are admitted to the controls of the airline.

If you bring expensive foreign objects such as jewelery, clothes or electronics, have custody of the Police. When taking a taxi outside the airport, check that the vehicle is orange plates with black numbers. Agents recommend not to use informal public transport services. It sometimes happens that travelers carry luggage alike and can be confused with it. Therefore it is recommended to include a distinctive (tying a ribbon) to avoid errors.


http://www.elcomercio.com/seguridad/redes-roban-exteriores-aeropuerto-Quito-aeropuerto_Mariscal_Sucre_0_773922811.html

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