Carbondale race fans robbed in Baja
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE ” Three Carbondale residents found themselves robbed and stranded over the border on a recent trip to a Baja off-road race.
A.J. Argento, 20; Rachel Villalobos, 19; and Albert Ingram, 23, all of Carbondale, as well as Ingram’s sister Rushelle, 18, of Los Angeles, recently drove from California to Baja, Mexico to watch the Baja 250 off-road race, a short version of the Baja 1,000.
On the afternoon of Friday, March 14, in San Felipe, Mexico, the group left their Ford F250 they’d used to transport a race vehicle to the event.
When they returned a few hours later, at about 9 p.m., they found the truck had been broken into; the group estimated their losses, of everything from clothes and shoes to an iPod and a video camera, at about $5,000.
“All we had was our sandals,” Ingram said.
Bent molding on the window area indicated someone had used a “slim jim” to break into the truck and unlock the door, Ingram said.
The group still had cash, however, because luckily the bandits did not find some $600 tucked in a tissue box in the glove compartment. (Although the thieves took a pair of glasses sitting on top of the money stash.)
“They just ran in and grabbed a couple of things and left,” Ingram said.
Ingram and Villalobos both lost their passports, but Villalobos was the only one in the group without identification when the travelers returned to the U.S. border.
Border guards simply asked where each in the group was born, then ushered them across the border to the U.S. without any major delay.
The group didn’t file a complaint with the police in Mexico.
Usually, foreign visitors to Mexico make criminal complaints to their respective embassy, but that would have required a trip to a major city in Mexico or driving through Tijuana ” an area the travelers wanted to avoid.
Instead, the group beelined for home and border officials recommended they file a report where they live ” in this case, Pitkin County.
Ingram suspects the passports could sell for as much as $1,000, and believes the documents will be used by illegal aliens crossing the border to the United States.
“It’s getting worse every year,” Ingram said, adding he even heard reports of armed banditry and carjacking at Baja race events.
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