10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, October 12, 2012

Expat Family Robbed in Beach Home in San Vicente, Ecuador

This news story was originally posted on Latin American Current Events, on October 8, 2012. You can go to the article by clicking here.

There are several reasons why this robbery/assault happened to this family; here are just three. One, they lived on a barren stretch of road where there is hardly any traffic (so the article states). Two, they lived in a development with no other homes, and thirdly, they did not have a house alarm. And, not to mention there is not a tall wall surrounding the home. All of these factors will be against you when it comes to personal safety in Ecuador, no matter what city you live in, including Cuenca. 

Here's the story of this robbery and assault. At the end of the article is a link to the story told by the wife.

Ecuador: Family from Chicago living near Bahia de Caraquez, victims of home invasion – assault

On October 7, 2012, at 12:30 am, an expatriate couple from Chicago, Illinois and their thirteen-year-old daughter were asleep. In their newly constructed home, at a development outside of San Vicente Ecuador called “Palmas de Briceno”, three assailants broke into the residence through a window. Two of criminals were armed with handguns, and the third wore a mask. The development is located 17 km north of Bahía de Caráquez Ecuador.

According to the husband, he was awoken by his wife’s screams. She had been pistol whipped after awakening to find a pistol aimed at her head. Another assailant pointed a gun at the husband and father and was ordered to silence his wife. The unarmed thug with the mask ordered the victim to give him the keys to the car. When he tried to tell the thief that he didn’t have the keys, the assailant went to a drawer and pulled them out.

The husband and father ushered his daughter and wife into a bathroom and briefly struggled with the assailants on the other side of the door to keep them from entering. The bandits stole electronic items, cash, cellphones and left in the victim’s vehicle. It was later found abandoned by police.

The victim and his family who reside in the only home in the development of about twenty seaside lots, tried to get assistance from an Ecuadorian living near the property without any luck. He attempted to get help without any luck on the sparsely driven road by the project. Then with limited time on his daughter’s phone, he put out an SOS on Facebook, on the Expat group for Ecuador. One of his friends realized what was going on and help coordinate the police to arrive about an hour and half later. The victim attempted to call the fire department in San Vicente but because of his limited Spanish, they hung up on him. Finally he made contact with the police department and attempted to get directions to the property.

A fire truck and police arrived. With no stretcher, they constructed a makeshift unit with bamboo poles and a sheet to get her to a pickup truck. She was then transported to a hospital in Bahia Carquez where she received treatment for non life threatening injuries. She has been released from the hospital.

The wife is now home with her daughter and husband who were not injured. He submitted to authorities that he believed that the assault may have been an inside job from one of the contractors working on the house. He believed that with only one of the men wearing a mask and knowing where the car keys were, that it pointed to someone with knowledge of the house. When the husband and father was asked if they planned on staying or leaving Ecuador, he responded that the family had not discussed that topic yet.


To read the wife's account of what happened click here:


  1. A great shame and I feel for the trauma of these people. At the same time, it should serve as a warning about wanting to live in a foreign country without taking proper initial steps. Americans tend to be far too annoyingly sure that the world owes them understanding. They tend to be bone lazy about learning another language, and expect the world to speak their language. A little common sense and observation of local mores would have told them that they were woefully unprepared in terms of security. No barred windows, no iron gate over the entry doors, no wall around the property, no reliable neighbors. At least they should have had a dog or two, preferably a very big one, not friendly towards stragers, and trained to eat nothing that does not come from the owner's hands--to avoid poisoning.
    The world has become much more dangerous. Even in the US there has been a rise in the incidence of armed break-ins in nice suburbs.

  2. Ecuador has always had thieves. Speaking Spanish is a smart prerequisite to living there.


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