Have you ever been the victim of robbery, simple theft or a scam? When living in DR its only a matter of (usually short) time and you will claim it for you. Its so omnipresent that nobody really complains. One just will mourn the loss of a possession, depending on the value and consider himself lucky if there was no hurt involved. Ladrones -thiefs – operate without shame in public. Widespread in public places – although it can not been claimed specially for that country – is the snatchaway theft: One is walking by and suddenly a criminal as a passenger of a scooter or motorcycle snatches with a swift, expert move the victims` purse, handbag or whatever is left carelessly at the side. And gone it is. No way to fight it, this could end up in violence. Therefore, seasoned citizens will take every precaution possible to avoid exposure to potential theft.
I heard of cases where victims were cut with a machete, the tool/ weapon of a Dominican man. Since it is considered a weapon, you are officially not allowed to wear it in public. But where is the difference between those two terms in practice? And I know, about every Dominican has one tucked away under the cars seat, thus handy accessible if need for it.
Another lesson: Dont, don’t ever leave possessions unwatched just for seconds, it will be gone. That applies for small things, like a shopping bag or bigger “items” like a scooter, even a car! Dont believe it? I myself had once to do at an office just on a parking lot and left my scooter, secured by the lock. As I emerged five minutes later of the said office: No more scooter, I didn’t trust my very eyes! I looked around, thought about it a moment, but no way: My scooter was gone. There were people around, although not to many. Result of my reflexions was, this was not the work of just one person: The lock had to be cracked, and/ or the scooter lifted onto a pickup’s platform. I was very angry, but what was there to be done? Go to the police and put a criminal charge against unknown third parties. Fortunately, I had copies of the vehicles` papers, if not the policemen at the police station would just have me brushed off. So I had to wait my turn at the departemento de robos, the theft department. The officer took my appeal without showing any eagerness. Of course, considering the amount of cases that were deposited. He mumbled something like “necessito gasolina para el vehiculo”, means “I need some money for the gas of my vehicle” I tried not to show to much of a surprised face. I handed him a not-to-big bill and left, being told to come back within some days. Although I didn’t count to much on resolution of that case, I returned twice, no result. So I had to write it off on behalf of “experience made in DR”. I would just be more prudent in the future. Finally, the vehicle was an old, battered one, but still very useful for my daily commuting on a cheap basis.
Now, do you want to learn about different classes of thiefs in the DR (well, not only there) I should not mention it, but since I am abroad now, it would not hurt me. And: It was no more no less as the truth, the daily lifes truth in this country. Biggest thiefs, a common opinion is, are politicians. Yes, the elected species of people who got the opportunity to put their hands on peoples properties, directly or indirectly. For instance by corruption which is omnipresent too, not really a secret. Take lawyers: You hand rhem over a “case”, he will – of course – ask for an advance. Now bet, this money will never, ever show up again, whatever the outcome of the case. More examples? Yes, there are, but I will leave it as it is.