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  1. We asked Carmen, an exterminator who was recommended by a good friend to come and treat our house for cockroaches and small ants. We also asked her if the treatment was safe for our 3 cats and she said that it was. I asked her this again when she and her assistant came to our house, and she said that it was. He liberally sprayed outside and all around in the house. We paid them 700 pesos for the spraying and another 200 for 4 Liquid Ant Baits. After they left I noticed that my rings (2 gold with gemstones) were not where I usually put them when I am cleaning, or washing dishes, which I was doing when they came. I called her immediately, they came back, and said that they did not have my rings. Well, they had opportunity, and after searching our entire house for over a month, even sifting through the garbage and all the waste baskets, and not finding them, it is still a very good possibility that they did indeed take my rings. The rings are special custom-made, and very dear to me. I wore them every day. In addition to that, 2 days later all 3 of our cats were vomiting. One was seriously ill and we took her to a veterinarian. They examined her, did blood work and gave her 2 shots, one was an anti-toxin. Fortunately, the cat was better later the next day. The cost for the treatment was 550 pesos. The vet also said that in spite of the fact that the exterminators claim their chemicals are not harmful to the animals, people commonly bring their pets in 2 days after the extermination, all with varying states of poisoning. This should not be happening. I gave Carmen written notice to put my rings in our mail box and reimburse us the 550 pesos for the vet bill. It is now 2 months later and she has not done either, nor has she even apologized for making our cats sick. If she lied about the safety of the chemicals for the cats, she could have also lied about my missing rings. Please be aware that if you hire her, or any other exterminator, do not let them out or your site, and if you have animals, beware of the toxic chemicals that they might be exposed to. I do not know Carmen’s last name, if she has a business name, or her address. All I know is her cel phone number with the last 4 digits 3737.
  2. While we were TRYING to get some lunch at Food Container, someone stole a duffel bag from the back of our SUV. We thought the car was locked, but the thief got in with no problem, so maybe not. All they got in the duffel bag was a wet swimsuit, some wet towels, and a cell phone (which I've already suspended). Our first time at Food Container -- nice folks, good food, but geeze, it shouldn´t take 2 hours to get a sushi appetizer and 2 sandwiches. And there were only 2 other tables there.
  3. Our water is being stolen by our next door neighbor using a hose attached to one of our garden taps. What concerns me is that: i.) the water supply in La Villita, which is part of La Foresta, is not unlimited; and ii) La Foresta management apparently think that I am responsible for it if I do nothing to stop it. Of course we have shut off the outside tap (which is a nuisance) but that only solves the problem so far - will the next step be breaking in when we are out? We also have other water sources: a pond and a fountain. The individuals involved do not pay their community fees and therefore their water supply may been cut down to a dribble which gives you some idea of the type of people we are dealing with. Can anyone suggest an appropriate solution to stop them doing this?
  4. A Mexican source published that they caught one on film with her group stealing in Ajijic http://semanariolaguna.com/10732/
  5. Just a warning of something to watch out for. We picked up somebody at the airport tonight. I was watching their luggage while the others went to the bathroom and ATM. A guy came up to talk to me, asking if I spoke Spanish. When I turned to respond, some of the luggage fell over. I grabbed for the bags to sit things back upright and saw that the guy was walking away when I turned back. I had an uneasy feeling, and when one of the people got back I explained what happened and asked if all their bags looked OK. She said they did, but upon closer inspection she saw that the backpack wasn't theirs. It looked very similar, but theirs had been stolen and replaced with the other (which contained junk). It's obvious that a team had targeted me, seeing that I was left with a large amount of luggage which I wasn't familiar with. While the one guy distracted me, somebody else swapped the backpack and headed out a nearby door. By the time we figured out what happened and went to look for security, the people were long gone. Lost along with the backpack: A 2-week old iPad received as a gift, a laptop computer with lots of family photos and personal information (including passwords stored in the browser, etc), several books, and a personal planner with loads of info. Fortunately, they had purses, wallets, passports, and personal documents with them and not in the stolen bag. Security checked footage from their cameras and confirmed what happened. We have a contact to get in touch with for a report, but there were no cameras in the parking garage where they fled to. So we're left sitting up tonight with our guests, going through logging into various online accounts to change passwords, cancel credit cards, and figure out what might have been affected and who to contact. What a horrible way to start their vacation here in Mexico!! Lessons learned to help others avoid this... 1. Don't leave one person guarding a bunch of luggage, especially stuff belonging to somebody else. If one or more people are watching bags, be sure they know what bag(s) are most valuable so they can keep them close. 2. Don't have a bunch of luggage sitting near one of the exit doors, where somebody can take something and be gone quickly. 3. If you're watching luggage and somebody strikes up a converstation, RED FLAG alert to pay closer attention to your stuff and the people near you. 4. When packing, don't keep all your valuable electronics in one bag that would be easy to grab and run with. 5. Make sure you have a recent, full backup of any data on devices you're traveling with, in case they get lost or stolen. 6. Make a list of contact numbers, info and accounts you should contact in case your property is stolen. Keep the list someplace in your luggage, away from electronic devices, credit cards, and other documents that might be stolen. It's very difficult to remember them when you don't have your computer, tablet, or documents for reference. Maybe others here might have recommendations and safety tips to help prevent something like this from happening. In the meantime, be aware of the specific danger from teams like this operating at the airport here. Heather
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