Bandits targeting Baja visitors

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe recent attacks, though, have been particularly harrowing, involving carjackings by heavily armed men who held their victims hostage for as long as several hours. Most took place at night along a 190-mile stretch of coastline between Tijuana and San Quintin. Lori Hoffman and her boyfriend, surf school owner Pat Weber, were robbed in October at a beach south of Ensenada within sight of 30 campsites. The couple evacuated their Encinitas home during recent wildfires and were in a recreational vehicle when they were attacked by two men wearing masks and combat boots. The attackers shot up the RV when Weber initially refused to open the door and then terrorized the couple. Hoffman said she was sexually assaulted in front of her boyfriend before the men fled with $8,000 worth of laptop computers, jewelry, tools, and Weber’s guitar. “These guys were not novices,” Hoffman said. LOS ANGELES – Masked bandits have attacked and robbed Baja California tourists at least seven times in recent months, acting with paramilitary precision and making off with cash and expensive vehicles, it was reported Saturday. It was unclear whether the attacks represent a trend in the popular vacation area, but they have worried some surf club owners enough to cancel operations. In one case, a woman said she was sexually assaulted in front of her boyfriend and in another, a family was held at gunpoint. U.S. authorities have long warned Americans to be careful when visiting Mexico because of threats ranging from kidnappings to drug-related violence. “Criminals have been known to follow and harass U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas,” said an October warning issued by the U.S. State Department. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more