Fraud / Crime, Tijuana
I have been living on the beach in TJ the past two months. I'm 27/white/male and I stick out like a sore thumb. The down side to sticking out is the racial slurs and scheming eyes from males. The upside to sticking out is a plethora of extra attention from females! I am literally "livin' la vida loca": new experiences, new culture, new food and am having the time of my life! However, last night I was robbed at knife point.
Many people warned me "don't trust people in the red zone", "stay away from guys that were deported", "don't go to out alone" and other warnings that make sense. I acknowledged these warnings, yet did all of these things anyway. I was fine these past 6-8 times walking around the coahuila & constitution area from 12 am to 3 am alone. I had a lot of fun! This time, however, it did end badly. I spent several hours with a guy I met on previous visits.
He calls himself 'David', a "tour guide" of the red zone: he showed me some interesting bars, offered many insightful tips and pointers about my behavior. He taught me how to be-friend the working girl, rather than how to buy her. He was intelligent, observant and charismatic, I was very impressed. He "won" my confidence and trust. Most guys there are broke and I wanted to give him money for the cool things he was teaching me! He led me to a seedy hotel off the beaten path where we were to "meet a girl on her lunch break". Had I not spent hours talking and bonding with this person, I would never have followed him there. Once inside the hotel room he pulled out a knife, called me a fool, and left me with the line, "Man, this is TJ!" as he made off with my cash, cards, phone, and my shoes.
I was warned judiciously, but had to learn for myself.
Travelers beware or avoid Tijuana Airport.DO NOT CHANGE MONEY AT TIJUANA AIRPORT
I flew out of Tijuana to Cabo on 21st December 2013. At the airport I had to buy travel permits using Mexican pesos.for our group of ten travelling to Cabo I gave the correct amount of US $ to the currency exchange. The female behind the counter short changed me by US $80+.
I called the police who took my receipt and informed me they would look at security cameras. They kept ME in an office long enough that I had to plead to let me join my family on our flight. The policeman would not return my receipt or reprimand the currency exchange person. The person checking the travel documents told me that they did this (scammed US travelers) all the time.
Bottom line: The main currency exchange employs criminals. They know about this and are party to this crime.
I will be posting this on Yelp, Facebook, Google and everywhere else I possibly can. I took photos of the people involved. I was threatened for taking the photos.
I am a San Diego resident and never have been to Tijuana myself, because everybody always says how dangerous and dirty it is. Well, this was confirmed when a very good friend of mine went there this past weekend. My friend's roommate convinced her to spend the day in TJ to go to the dog track. She agreed, and off they went. After being at the dog track, they went to a bar and had two beers each, and decided to head back to the border. Then, a seemingly nice English-speaking Mexican couple befriended them and said they "knew of a shortcut" back to the border.. Well, that would of been a red flag to me, but they were like OK! So this couple were leading them through the streets repeating "one more block, one more block!" Then she said things got ghetto fast. The couple ripped the necklace off my friend's neck, took her purse, phone, passport, and then put a knife up to the roommate's neck demanding money. Then the criminals took my friend's phone and started texting anyone in her phone under "mom" or "dad" saying she was in a Tijuana jail and that they need to Western Union $500 to get her out. Anyways, long story less long, the roommate had to buy back the passports for $200 and were able to escape.
Mexico is a beautiful country, I've been there before (not Tijuana), but skip this dump!
This website is sure to scare everyone away from TJ. It gives a megaphone to a few scared voices (and the idiot that woke up with no shoes. BTW, what were you doing to get yourself into that mess? I have a feeling some hookers might have been involved). Please do some research outside this website. Most articles that I find now talk about how TJ is leading Mexico in an economic boom. Again, look for yourself.
Yes, you have to be careful. Yes, you have to be a little bit smart. If you are both of these things, nothing is going to happen to you in TJ. If you are a tourist, stay in the tourist areas. There are beautiful restaurants and bars, a great cultural center, and some good shopping.
If you want to visit TJ, I would recommend going during the day, have an early dinner, and then take a cab back to the border. I went yesterday and it blew me away some of the new shops and restaurants that were there. Mission 19 is seriously one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Heard good things about El Cielo too.
This website is really disappointing. I live in San Diego and I'm sure there are horror stories here too about crime. It happens everywhere.
We just got back last night from Tijuana. Located at a major intersection and a great nice hotel. The police stopped at car with a kidnapping vicitm inside the truck. BE VERY careful going down there!! walk in a group!! Don't carry fancy purse or show your money. Have your money separted so whatever you pay for you just have a little money to pull out. We felt safe until we saw all the swat/bomb team and police officer right next to our fancy hotel.
they do have some good dentist down there and excellent cancer treatment and plastic surgery but you need to be very aware and never go alone any place!
I dont know how, but i woke up in little grassing area right before you approached the bridge to cross to exit tijuana.
I believed That someone in Zona Rosa district must of gave me a drug because i ended up waking up in a grassing area not to far from the bridge. Woke up in the middle of the night, no shoes on, My backpack gone, no iphone, they even remove my glasses from my face. They also enter in the front of my pants and removed all money. BEWARE... IF you enter into tijuana, do not carry alot money, do not carry a cell phone. Get Escorted my someone else, dont walk alone. You will be a target by the gangs. The locals do this for a living.....
The us Border Police was not help to me, when i walked in with no shoes and belongs..
Ok since no one has posted in awhile about this I will update you.
TJ is not the best place at the moment, if possible stay away.
Not only is it not safe to walk around at night, but now gangs are
running around and robbing people in broad daylight. You are safe
if you take a cab to the place you are going, and you are safe inside
any nice place. But walking anytime of day is a problem no matter
where you are, even in the tourist spots. Stay in a nice Hotel if you go,
take cabs, and go to nice places, but only in the day.
Do not walk the streets, not even the walkway to downtown from
the USA is safe anymore. Eyes are on you, and if given the chance,
they will jump you from behind, no matter where you are from.
Mexico has some nice spots, Tijuana is just not one of them.
it is 01/09. I have been back to TJ, Rosarito and Ensenada tremendous amounts of times...last was 3 weeks ago. TJ is slow, lots of police, rosarito has lots of military and ensenada is slow. crime the same it seems, still go alone to all three and no problems, more safer than before as there are more police...random shootings are going on but not near the toursit zones much at all. all killings are between the cartels, TJ on Revolution is safe, had dental work done and got 3k for 550 bucks, same stuff as the states, computer x-rays, everything was great. went to La Zona Rosa at night, slow and no probelms...stay on the main corridor and no porblems, the locals are hungry for the tourist dollar...on a side note i did get my ass severly beat up robbeed and knocked out for an hour by at the pool area around midnight three african americans, however it was at a casino at Stateline Nevada known as the Primm and it was after a snoop dogg concert with extra police and sureveiilance cameras, so you tell me how safe it is here in Amercia.,...and to boot the police and the security could not find or identify any of them! yeah its war zone in Noithern Baja but i have been there a lot the last 4 months, sometimes 2 weeks in a row I have gone alone ands it is dead slow, but saw no shoot outs, all this cartel stuff is away from the main drags and between the cartels...tourists in any country need to be wary....funny how i get my ass beat and robbed in a casino with tons of security and no one saw a thing.i go to the war zone of mexico and nothing happens. Oh and i got my leather jacket stolen at a local vegas strip cl;ub called the Spearmint Rhino and had to call the cops and at the last minute Management "found" my stoled jacket after 2 hours of aying it was not thjere....go to a mexican strip club and never had a problem.....go figure...i dont know...dont be an ***, and treat everyone with respect. i have had mnore *** happen to me here in the states than when i lived in Cabo or been to TJ....so crime is everywhere however i wont go to South Central or Compton alone, lived in Long Beach ten years and know this white ass would not make it out alive.... it is probably moresafe to go and eat the lobster at Puerto Nuevo than ever....sure there is a chance somethiong might happen,..jusrt ask the Security at the Casino or at the Rhino strip club ...I got my ass beat and robbed in vegas but nada in three years in Mexico...
Sometimes I forget that TJ can be a destination for those curious to visit Mexico-my forgetfulness is due to the fact us native Californians don’t really consider TJ to actually BE Mexico! I figure those who aren’t familiar or have never been might choose to go there because its easy to get to (say if visiting San Diego), or likely because there are more English Speaking Mexicans there than in other cities….
Here’s the deal/my advice: If planning to travel to Mexico, please skip TJ! Don’t worry your not missing anything. Mexico is an incredibly beautiful country and TJ is in no way reflective of this; matter of fact I can’t count the number of times people I know (who have only been to TJ, no where else in the Country) say “I will never go to Mexico again!” . While I mean no offense to those who live there as the local folk are quite nice, they do see Americans as nothing more than “money bags” most of the time- be prepared for lots of harassment and ogling if your female, and constant asking for money from children and taxi drivers… This place is dirty, crowded, high crime, police are corrupt beyond belief and its chock full of idiotic gringo teenagers crossing the boarder from LA and lord knows where else looking to get drunk and act foolish. Yet its gotten so bad in the past 5 yrs or so that the cons out way the pros for even the teens- worse still is the rapes, kidnappings and murders of Americans have increased so much in the border region here that we now have millitary assigned here!
Skip it and head for the mountain side or any other picturesque part of “real” Mexico, ok?
It's cool to let your kids wander off a bit in Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, la la la
Not so in Tijuana,
If you have a child under the age of 25, keep a close eye on them....for real
pedophiles come to Tijuana looking for kids/victims and sex-trafficing of all kinds goes on here.
Ok we were in San Diego and LA back in July/August this year (2006). Someone we spoke to was asking about our plans and we mentioned we fancied doing a trip to TJ to visit the church and the Hard Rock Cafe. She immediatly said a firm NO. We asked why.
It appears there has been a recent increase of western (blond haird blue eyed) children kidnapped and held for ransom there. As our daughter is both blond and vclue eyed we decided to not bother this time. I did check with another local person and they confirmed this.
If you have kids TJ isn't really sounding too good right now. and I think you should avoid it at all costs.
We went back in 2001 with our soon and I have to admit it did feel a little intimidating at times. But we did enjoyed ourselves.
Tijuana has a high index of criminality, and the violent assault it is very common specially between the male local and the male tourists, this type of assault is coming by gang guys, and the tactic this to ambush you, and intimidate whit some kind o weapon knive or is most common weapon. you should view this type of gang guys and avoid them and avoid walk in the night and dark sites.
Some are you need avoid and never go is:
Colonia Libertad, know la libertad
La Zona Norte or Zona Roja (this a red spot a 2 years ago one american has been kidnapped in this area)
Other part whit high crime is the el centro outside of the revolucion street. The revolucion street has been low the crime whit a modern security system but need some cauition in the night.
tijuana posee un alto indice de criminalidad, y el asalto violento es muy comun especialmente entre los locales y los turistas masculinos.
If you're a document forger, there's a reward out to turn you in!
This picture was taken right before you enter the US Immigration checkpoint. After 9/11/01, they don't allow photos beyoung this point! I was warned they'd confiscate your camera if you do take pictures1
I felt in Tijuana quite safe and comfortable (especially in Avedida la Revolucion)... after maybe a few minutes of something which maybe called "culture shock" when I passed through border gates and a few taxi drivers cried hey, amigo, taxi, cheap etc. hehe.
It seems that Avenida Revolucion is patrolled by police 24 hours at least between 1st and 3rd street. But I read somewhere that the Tijuana Police did NOT recommend to walk down 3rd street at night. Honest warning? Hmm... I don't know. Be careful and wise anyway!
When you cross the border, you'll be swarmed by cab drivers who want to charge you too much to take you into town. First of all there is a shuttle that costs $1. Secondly, you can walk. It's less than a mile across the river.
Also, if you do get in a cab, be warned. The cab drivers are crazy!
-As I said earlier, don't drink the water.
-Never pay the first price offered. TJ is a bargainers paradise.
-Watch out for pickpockets!
Just a little true story:
I once parked my car at my sister's house when she and her husband were living in San Diego. I went out of town and while I was gone my car was stolen. Weeks later it turned up in TJ, stripped of all its valuable parts and pretty much worthless to me.