Travelers to the tourist beach resort destination of Tulum are advised not to wear expensive jewelry and other items in public.
They also need to be very focused on their surroundings and watch for people who appear to be following them in town.
This warning comes after three robberies in Tulum by criminals who were stalking the victims and then ended up robbing them in areas such as restaurants.
High-End Watches Stolen
The latest incident occurred recently in a popular restaurant on Kukulcán Avenue, between 11th and 13th streets, in Tulum’s La Veleta neighborhood.
A couple of tourists from the United States were enjoying their vacation getaway in Tulum with a meal when they were approached at their table by criminals who robbed the tourists of two high-end Rolex luxury watches.
The value of their loss was reported to local municipal police as approximately $320,000 Mexican pesos or nearly $19,000 dollars.
According to a report about the incident as delivered to Tulum police, one of the criminals appeared to have a non-Mexican accent, which they believed as Colombian.
The criminal first posed as a customer who was looking to eat at the restaurant before heading over to the victim’s table.
As the criminal appeared at the victim’s table, he pulled a gun and told the couple to hand over the high-end Rolex watches and other expensive jewelry they were wearing.
He then ran out of the restaurant and hopped onto a waiting motorcycle ridden by an accomplice before disappearing down the road.
Tulum municipal law enforcement believes that the tourists were observed for some time and were targeted based on the expensive watches and jewelry they were spotted wearing.
The criminals specifically selected the American tourist couple as a crime of opportunity, located them when their guard was down, and executed the robbery.
The criminals still remain at large, although Tulum police do have a restaurant video surveillance image of them.
They are actively looking for the criminals and hope that anyone who spotted something on the day of the incident will come forward with information to solve the crime and put the thieves behind bars before they strike again.
Local merchants in the area have also taken the opportunity to increase the number of security officers to ensure the safety and security of visiting customers.
Travel Safety Tips
Travelers are regularly advised to avoid wearing high-end luxury jewelry items when traveling abroad. Often, foreign visitors who display their wealth are targeted by criminals looking for crimes of opportunity. That was the case with this robbery.
If expensive items are brought to the Mexican Caribbean for a vacation getaway, they should be kept in a resort or hotel safe for security and worn with discretion.
The United States Department of State currently has a level two travel advisory for the State of Quintana Roo which includes the town of Tulum. That advisory recommends that travelers should exercise increased caution when traveling in the area.
The State Department also recommends exercising situational awareness, meaning travelers should be aware of their surroundings and watch for people or vehicles following them while walking in town.
If approached by a criminal, hand over the requested items and file a report with the police. The items are definitely worth less than receiving an injury or worse by trying to be a hero facing a criminal. Stolen items can ultimately be replaced.
Most importantly, visitors should always consider purchasing travel insurance to protect them against theft of items when visiting an international vacation destination, such as the Mexican Caribbean or Tulum.
The cost of the insurance is based on the location being visited, items covered, and duration of the trip. It is generally affordable and can provide peace of mind for travelers enjoying their vacation getaway.
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