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Thread: Bad Cocal Thief, Andrea Julissa Lantigua Valdez

  1. #11
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    I can understand cash, cameras, phones, etc. being in high demand, but passports?? How can a passport with a security chip and an embedded photo be valuable to anyone else?

  2. #12
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    I can understand cash, cameras, phones, etc. being in high demand, but passports?? How can a passport with a security chip and an embedded photo be valuable to anyone else?
    A U.S. Passport is EXTREMELY valuable. True, the USA has an embedded security chip in their Passports now. How many Countries have the technology to read that chip? Does the USA even share that tech with other countries? A stolen U.S. Passport might not get someone into the USA, but it can do a lot of other things.

    However, a U.S. Passport is NOT the most valuable Passport in the world. Canada, Switzerland, and a few others are more valuable.

  3. #13
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    OK, how valuable is it? How can it be used?

  4. #14
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    OK, how valuable is it? How can it be used?
    It can be used to travel to numerous countries outside of the USA. It can be used as a basis for Residency or Citizenship in another country. It can be re-sold in Costa Rica or other countries, for similar purposes.

    If the person using the Passport looks similar to the person in the photograph, the Passport can easily be used to enter the USA. Photo/Facial identification is not a high priority for the U.S. government. The photo on my current Passport is more than 5 years old and looks absolutely nothing like me. U.S. Immigration fingerprints immigrants, but never fingerprints U.S. Passport holders. When I cross the border from Mexico to the USA, the Immigration officer barely even looks at my Global Entry card. He just swipes it and tells me... "Move!"

    Anyone who steals my Passport and G.E. card could easily travel to Mexico and walk right across the border into the USA.

    One time, I accidentally grabbed my Buddy's G.E. Card instead of my own. No Problemo! Walked right across the border with the wrong card!

  5. #15
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    If someone manages to swipe a passport from an old gringo, what would the approximate dollar value be? A friend of mine was pick-pocketed 4 or 5 years ago in SJ.

  6. #16
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    If someone manages to swipe a passport from an old gringo, what would the approximate dollar value be? A friend of mine was pick-pocketed 4 or 5 years ago in SJ.
    My current info says that it's worth about $1000. However, we are talking about the Black Market. The price varies greatly, primarily depending upon the value of the Passport to the prospective buyer.
    Last edited by Speedy1; 12-13-2014 at 02:09 AM.

  7. #17
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    Excellent posts here. Of greatest import to remind us all to stay awake and aware. Shit, I was mugged at 15 y/o in a local high school in Connecticut USA - was there for an "exchange class" and asked some kids where the bathroom was, they said they'd show me and in the stairwell grabbed me and put a knife to my neck - took my money and said "don't trust everyone you meet".

    I tend to follow my gut and give most people a first chance - yet staying aware is crucial, anywhere and everywhere. As Speedy1 has stated so well, it's a shameful reality in our world that the oldest profession is still considered seedy and draws even where legal the "dregs" of the surrounding society. We mongers often see our time in SJ or Jaco etc. as a "wild party", just remember always that your not in Kansas anymore. I absolutely agree with the concept of a "designated straight", it does not guarantee no issues but far minimizes their likelihood. In my travels, I am generally that person. Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of "lost days" and then some, but the way I see it I can drink in the safety of my home and local bars and I am traveling for other reasons. I like the full experience of my companions, not some inebriated brawl that I can hardly recall - been there done that long ago.

    I've always been careful in my room, keeping most important valuables in the safe and having only so much cash available in the room that I would not be lost if it were rifled and found whilst I'm in the shower etc., yet the phone sensitivity point is something to really consider. I do get a local phone while there which is a "who cares" but my main phone is generally not locked up and from this point forward I will not only keep it better guarded but engage some sort of "self destruct app" before my next trip - I'm sure plenty of them exist in today's cyber-crime crazed world.

    Also great tips (Speedy1) on the security guards, don't think I ever even thought to tip them but will from here on out! Like the mamasan at my local favorite (now closed by the Puritans!) AMP!

    So thanks for the reminder and sorry you had that experience.

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