In the wake of the violent attack against resident expat Lisa Struss, friend and fellow Canadian Christine Philipson Steadman has launched Lake Chapala Crime Watch, a Facebook page to serve as a community channel for reporting and preventing criminal activity.
The page went live on March 13, generating the registration of 130 members in the first 24 hours and double that number by this newspaper’s press time.
So far posters have reported four daytime break-ins that occurred over the past four weeks in different neighborhoods during short periods while the residents were out on errands.
While sharing information on social media is an excellent tool for raising public awareness on up-to-date criminal activity, victims should grasp the importance of lodging formal complaints needed to file insurance claims and aid the identification, capture and prosecution of perpetrators and effective implementation of crime prevention tactics.
Under the new criminal justice system, crime reports and investigation files can be handled by both the Ministerio Público (MP) or the municipal police. Contact the Chapala MP office at Avenida González Gallo 17, opposite Cristiania Park, 765-2415, and Seguridad Pública (police department), Niños Heroes 65 at Zaragoza, 765-4444. Bilingual MP agent Edson Omar Franco continues bimonthly outreach at the Lake Chapala Society with upcoming visits scheduled for March 21 and 28, April 18 and 25; and May 16 and 23.