Recently, my husband I were driving back to Ajijic from Vista del Lago Country Club after dinner. Anyone familiar with the road going from Chapala to Mezcala knows it is hazardous and loaded with numerous potholes.
I was driving, the sun was setting so I had to shield the sun with my right hand, drive with my left hand and swerve around the potholes. Along the way I noticed a Chapala Police vehicle following me. As I slowed down, I was late swerving and hit a pothole that blew out my right front tire. I immediately pulled over and the police pulled up behind us.
I thought I would get a ticket for drunk driving because of all the swerving. Three officers got out of their vehicle and came over. They checked out the situation and, without a word, went to the back of my Honda Fit, took out the tool case, the little jack, and the spare. It took 30 minutes, including some frustration with the tire jack, but they changed the tire.
I was so grateful for their help I gave a big hug to the officer who changed the tire. They asked for nothing. They simply smiled as we drove away. These officers could have chosen to not stop and drive on, but instead they chose to be Good Samaritans.
I would like to thank the Chapala Municipal Police for responding so quickly when my house was burgled at the beginning of August. They were very professional, careful with the animals, thorough in searching the property, climbing up on the roof, walking through sticker weeds up to their chests and going into pitch black areas. They got down on their hands and knees and checked under beds, couches and tables, and looked in closets and behind shower curtains.
The officers explained in detail what I needed to do to bring charges. They said they could take a full report at the scene, or do a preliminary report. I could then make a list of what was missing (just about everything), go and get a copy of the report from the police and then go and swear out a complete statement at the Ministerio Publico. And that is what I did.
Everyone was helpful when I went to get the report at the police station in Chapala. The Ministerio Publico were also all very professional.
Some days later, I had to call the police again as there was a man with ropes on the property. Again the response time was fast and the attention very professional.
This time the officers went down into the arroyo behind the house and walked the full length of it between the highway and the lake. I was amazed to see them return with a box full of items that they had picked up from the mud and high running water. It seems the thief in question had been lowering boxes in the arroyo.
Do I think most of what was stolen will be recovered? No, but not because the police aren’t doing their job. They are doing it, and doing it well. We need to do our part.
If you are a victim of a crime, report it. Give the police the information they need to do their job. They want their town to be safe too. They have to follow the law, and need evidence to arrest people. The public security budget is based on the number of incidents. If a crime isn’t officially reported, then it didn’t happen and can’t be counted to increase the budget for a larger police force.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are a victim of a crime. Take back your power and report it – officially.
Elizabeth Townsend Chaussee, Riberas del Pilar