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May

May

On May 1, 2012, at approximately 5:00 p.m., two individuals were robbed as they were preparing to leave Playa Los Cocos, a public beach near Higuerote, Venezuela. The robber approached the two victims shortly after they returned to their vehicle with their belongings. As the robber approached, he stated, "It is getting late, you should leave." According to one of the individuals, the robber appeared nervous and was possibly under the influence of narcotics. The robber then told the victims, "This is a robbery”. The robber directed the two victims to move behind their vehicle. The robber removed various items from the vehicle, the robber then moved back behind the vehicle, pointed his firearm at one of the individuals, and demanded everything out of his pockets.

 On May 7, 2012, at approximately 5:00 p.m., an individual was robbed while walking home from high school on Avenida Panteón in downtown Caracas. A man approached the victim and pointed a gun at him, demanding the victim's cell phone. The victim handed over the cell phone and was not harmed.

On May 7, 2012, at approximately 11:00 p.m., an individual was robbed in the Hornos de Cal area of Caracas. The individual reported that he was riding in a vehicle with several other individuals when eight armed youths blocked the vehicle and made everyone get out of the car. The assailants were aggressive, pointing guns at the heads of several of the victims and striking the employee in the head with a bottle. The assailants robbed all of the individuals of their belongings. The group then fled the area.

On May 13, 2012, at approximately 5:00 p.m., an individual on his/her way home noticed a suspicious, parked vehicle on the street leading to his/her residence. The individual observed a man exit the vehicle in dark clothing and coat. The individual decided to turn back down the street (to an intersection) and return later. At that time the individual heard two gun shots. The employee did not see if the suspicious person was the person who fired a weapon or if it was directed at the individual’s vehicle.

On May 14, 2012, at approximately 5:30 p.m., an American student on an exchange program to Venezuela attempted to board a Conviasa flight from Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas to El Vigia, Venezuela, with his/her carry-on luggage. At the time of boarding, the student was not permitted to carry any luggage onboard, and his/her carry-on luggage was instead checked at the gate. When the student received his/her luggage in El Vigia, s/he discovered that a camera, a USB card, and various documents containing personally identifiable information (including his/her social security number and a copy of his/her U.S. passport) had been stolen. The student attempted to report the theft to the airline and to the police, but both refused to take his/her complaint.

On May 16, 2012, at approximately 6:00 a.m., three individuals broke into the Mexican Embassy in Caracas. They stole small items, including a camera. Police responded to the scene and reportedly captured two of the three individuals.

On May 18, 2012, an individual visiting Caracas had his car broken into and his passport stolen while parked outside a hospital in the neighborhood of San Jose de Cotiza.

On May 19, 2012, at approximately 4:30 a.m., an individual was targeted for an attempted express kidnapping in the neighborhood of Macaraguay. He was in his friend's car, going home, stopped in front of an automatic gate to get in to the community when a small white car with six men inside pulled up behind them. The men jumped out and ran toward the car. The individual told his friend to drive away. One of the men kicked the car as the friend drove the car away, but they did not follow.

On May 26, 2012, an individual was kidnapped in the afternoon as he arrived at his house in the neighborhood of Filas de Mariche in the city of Caracas. After 10 hours, a ransom was paid to the kidnappers and the victim was released.

On May 26, 2012, at approximately 7:30 p.m., four armed men robbed the attendees of a party. The men broke into the party by scaling the wall surrounding the apartment building. No one was harmed.

On May 26, 2012, at approximately 10:00 p.m., an individual was kidnapped from his vehicle while pulled over on Avenida El Cuartel near Propatria metro station in the Libertador municipality of Caracas. He was held for almost 23 hours and released relatively unharmed after his wife paid a ransom.

On May 27, 2012, at approximately 8:30 p.m., local police responded to a burglary/home invasion in progress in the neighborhood of La Loma. An unknown number of burglars escaped the building before police could detain them.

On May 29, 2012, at approximately 12:00 p.m., three men attempted to rob an off-duty police officer and his mother in the basement/parking garage of a hospital in the neighborhood of San Bernardino. A shootout ensued, and one of the robbers was injured. The three men fled back into the clinic, trying to escape from the off-duty officer. Staff at the clinic heard the shooting and locked down their offices. National Guard and SWAT responded to the clinic and searched for the three men, but were unable to locate them. A later review of security camera footage showed the three men escaping through a service door approximately ten minutes after the shootout with the off-duty officer. The hospital where the shooting took place is adjacent to one of the preeminent clinics in Caracas, where embassy personnel would likely be taken in the case of a medical emergency.

On May 29, 2012, at approximately 12:00 p.m., a group of three men attempted to kidnap a man in the neighborhood of La Trinidad. The victim escaped and notified the police, who captured the kidnappers in the neighborhood of Terrazas del Club Hipico.

On May 29, 2012, at approximately 6:00 p.m., a university professor was drugged in his home while tutoring a student. The drug used was the sedative Burundanga, also known as Scopolamine. When he awoke the following morning he discovered that his laptops, iPod and cash had been stolen.

On May 30, 2012, at approximately 12:15 p.m., there was a shootout between the police and two criminals on a motorcycle who had been attempting to rob a kiosk in the Bello Monte neighborhood. No one was injured, and the police were able to capture both criminals.