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Daryl Ries of Keller Williams Panama, associate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Coronado, Panama has seen a lot of change in security since foreigners have arrived in appreciable numbers and growing. Entrance to a gated community like Coronado is now a serious business. There are 24/7 security manned stations that require identification to pass and in the case of taxis, and all commercial vehicles, must be checked exiting. There are 24/7 security stations as well at condominium entrances, and card operated electronic systems at all public doors.
 
Similar to most upmarket areas and buildings, Coronado has updated its security measures to world standard. The police station is now well equipped with proper security technology, and vehicles for emergency calls. Not least, the police in this area speak English, for the most part. So, the safety is as good in Coronado as it would be in your USA community, if not better.
 
However, living in a home in or outside a gated community poses more responsibility for the owner. You must set up the alarm systems, connect to the police station and hire a responsible caretaker, especially if you are not there full time.  A home is an easier target for a thief and theft is not unusual when taking the proper measures is ignored.
Crime is everywhere as they say and it’s important to observe proper measures when you could be a sitting duck.
 
Number one is to realize that you are not alone, ever. Where you live and how you live are observed by those around you and those who work for you. We live in a “have and have-not” world.  And to be fair, we must adjust to the divide, by protecting our own and dealing well with others. This is anywhere, but certainly in a situation where you are a foreigner. The divide is more marked in a 3rd world country, which Panama is not. And in Coronado, where the locals owning homes may very well be better off than you, being a foreigner makes you more vulnerable.
 
Therefore, it is important to know the culture, the modes of behavior and acknowledge that you may need to adjust your parameters to meet the situation.  Join in and share with your community and strengthen your ties with the locals, bonding with your helpers and do all you can to maintain vigilance as you would at home.
 
Are the gun laws worse than in the USA? There are armed robberies in Coronado area and they are few, but haunting nonetheless.  You may be retired and feel like life is a vacation, but the world turns and caution does not cost much.
David Bayliss of KW PACIFICA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Condos with view of the golf course, Coronado, Panama.jpg – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI have to answer this question as a person coming from Texas.  When I still get email from my old neighborhood of the crime statistics, I look at my old neighborhood and think, “Oh, my gosh. How did I live in Texas and survive the crime rate that was in my nice neighborhood?”
 
In the expat neighborhood in Coronado, the typical crime is a crime of theft. If they could steal something easily as an unprotected item, that’s very possible. This is no different than in Dallas, Texas.
 
We advise people to be mindful of just leaving things lying out, but the typical crime in Coronado is reported like no other place I’ve seen in the world.  If someone’s house gets robbed, everybody knows about it because the expats communicate so well with each other. In contrast, in Dallas, if my neighbor had his garage burglarized and they took his lawnmower, you wouldn’t hear about it unless you’ve read about it or maybe somebody told you that it’s not a big crime or it’s not a big thing. In Coronado, a small theft is publicized everywhere.
 
So there is no such thing as an area with no crime.  Homes have been robbed.  The big difference is we all know about it. Compared with Dallas, the crime in Coronado is less than three times; it is much, much less, and this goes for property crimes as well as crimes against a person?  Crimes against people do exist in Coronado, but Coronado is gated and apartments have their own security.  With that being said, things can happen but they just don’t happen in Coronado at the same frequency as in other places.  
 
(Condos with view of the golf course and Panama City in the background, Coronado, Panama, pictured.)
Melissa Darnay of Choose Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
high rise condo, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou very rarely hear about violent crime concerning expats in Coronado, Panama. Certainly, there are what we call ‘crimes of opportunity.’ If you leave your laptop in your unlocked car, it’s probably going to get taken. 
 
The key to living well in Coronado would be the same as it would be wherever you came from. You want to use a little bit of common sense. It’s okay to wear jewelry, but you’re not going to flaunt it. It’s okay to drive a nice car, but you are at the beach.  It’s okay to use a nice laptop and have nice things. 
 
Most of the communities in Coronado are gated, and some of them are triple gated. For example, one of my favorite communities is Coronado Golf and Country Club. You go through the gates of Coronado, then you go through the gates of the country club, and then you finally go through the gates to the condo community. By the time you’ve gone through those three gates, you’ve put up roadblocks. So unless a thief is right there, they’re not going to choose you to try to steal something from you.
 
I’ve heard of very few instances of any type of crime. When there is crime, if you look at the underlying reasons, it’s either been because somebody was careless and I hate to say it, maybe a little bit stupid, or it’s because they were involved with the wrong types of people. 
 
Americans or other expats are not singled out for crime in a general way. If you’re not using common sense, you could be singled out just as you would be if you were walking in the wrong area of Los Angeles.
 
(Gated condo community with high rise views of ocean and jungle between Panama City and Coronado, Panama, pcitured.)
Denise Patrick of Panama Roadrunner Secure Transport – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama Helpline logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI cannot give out a number on the crime rate against expats in Coronado, Panama, because most crimes are not reported. I am on the board of a group called the Panama Helpline Neighbors Helping Neighbors, which is a group that was set up here in the Coronado area so that people who speak only English have a contact. There are three guys who answer the phone and will contact the police, talk to them in Spanish, and dispatch an ambulance, a fire truck, or the police, if necessary. It is also good for roadside assistance and it is a good group to belong to, but not all crimes get reported there.
 
All of your information is kept on file there, too, so if you are in an emergency situation, you can just tell them that you are a member and give them your contact number and tell them you are home. They will have all the information there in Spanish to translate if you need help. So they can send the police, an ambulance or fire truck; whatever you need. You don’t have to relay that information every time. It is all kept on file.
 
The crimes that happen here are often crimes of opportunity. We live in a house and we have bars on the windows, which is very common for Panama. We have two dogs and a gated yard. I have never ever felt unsafe here even when Neil is driving and working nights.
 
In other places, crimes do happen because the doors or gates are left open. It is not worse than when we lived in Calgary. In the city or here in Coronado, there is always going to be some crime but it is not anything that we are overly concerned about.
 
Coronado is also a very wealthy area so it is somewhat targeted because of its wealth.  This does not mean it is targeted because of its expats. I have heard of wealthy Panamanian families having problems here just as much as wealthy expats having problems here. The crimes are not necessarily about crimes towards immigrant people as it is just a wealthy area.
 
Violent crimes are very minimal here in Coronado. There is one group of people that has been doing home invasions, about ten people who are giving the country a bad name. It is very random and I think it has a lot to do with opportunity. They watch your house and see if you are not diligent about locking up when you leave or locking up at night, which creates and opportunity.  Overall, however, I could say that 90% of the crimes here are crimes of opportunity, which are non-violent, such as when somebody sets something down, turns her back, and when she comes back, it’s gone. Overall, I don’t see violent crime as a big problem here. I would say that it is probably worse in most major cities in North America.
 
I don’t feel unsafe being alone in the house. During the daytime, I have no issues. At night, well, I wouldn’t walk at night in Calgary, either. If I have the dogs, nobody comes near me. I have even walked to happy hour by myself. It is just four blocks away and it doesn’t bother me at all. It may be unsafe at night when you are down on the beaches because sometimes criminals come in by boats and not through the gated roads, so there is a potential to be attacked at the beach at night or in dark alleyways. But the distance between our home and the local happy hour is all well-lit on the major road so it is not a big problem.
 
If you would exercise the same degree of caution you would anywhere, where at night, you would go to well-lit places, you’re fine. I wouldn’t walk on the back streets or the quiet streets. During the week, there is nobody here so if you ran into somebody on the street, you could go two blocks and not see a light. That’s what I mean I wouldn’t walk at night, because there are no other people there.
 
(Panama Helpline logo, pictured.)
Frank Kehanu – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dear Readers,
 
Some crimes don´t get reported, so statistics may not be accurate.
 
Crime doesn´t discriminate; anyone, anywhere at anytime can be a victim of crime and any person can be a criminal, even clean cut, church going postal employees like Kansas BTK or wear a police badge like in South Carolina.
 
Back in the CFR 35 PanCanal days, safety and crime prevention briefings were provided on a recurrent basis to provide us means to stay safe in The Panama Republic, including beach areas.
 
Robbery Prevention Tips:
 
YOUR DEMEANOR:
 TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS 
 SHOW CONFIDENCE 
 DON’T LOOK LIKE AN EASY TARGET
 BE OBSERVANT.
 REMAIN ALERT AND OBSERVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU
 
AT HOME: 
 Do not allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say they need help. Keep the door locked and call the police for them.
 Do not advertize that you live alone.
 Don't be afraid to call the police to investigate suspicious circumstances, unusual people or strange noises. It is better to be safe then sorry.
 When you move into a new home, change the locks.
 Keep your curtains or shades closed at night.
 Don't leave notes on your door announcing when you will be home.
 Keep outdoor lights on at night.
 Never give information to an unknown caller. Report nuisance calls to the police and the telephone company.
 Keep your doors and windows locked. If it is warm and you leave your door open for circulation, keep the screen door locked.
 If you arrive home and your door is open or things appear to be out of place - don't go in your home. Leave and call the police.
 Write down license numbers of suspicious vehicles to give to the police, if necessary. 
 
ON THE ROAD:
 Know your destination and have a planned route of travel.
 Keep your car in gear, doors locked, windows rolled up.
 Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially at intersections and stop lights.
 Park in areas that will be well lit when you return.
 There is safety in numbers! Walk with friends or in a group.
 If you are lost, find a public place, like a service station, to read your map or ask for directions.
 If you are being followed, don't drive home or get out. Drive to the nearest police station, open store or business for help. Try to note the license number and description of the car and persons following you.
 Don't advertize. If you are out at night, don't wear expensive or fancy looking jewelry. This is an invitation to trouble.
 If someone tries to get in your car while you are stopped - drive away quickly.
 Don't use ATM machines at night. Plan ahead and get your cash during safer times. Use ATM machines that are very visible. Avoid isolated ATM machines.
 Keep any valuables in the trunk, in a locked glove compartment, or out of sight whenever traveling or leaving a vehicle parked.
 Check the interior of your vehicle and surrounding areas before entering your vehicle.
 When using valet parking, provide the parking clerk with the valet key that most car manufacturers provide now. This prevents strangers from looking in your glove compartment and trunk and finding personal information.
 Walk in open, well-lit areas.
 Avoid carrying a purse, if you can. If you must, carry your purse securely and close to your body. Do not allow your purse to hang free from your hand
 Check the interior of your vehicle and surrounding areas before entering your vehicle. parked.
 
 
 
Corrin Skubin – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Yes, it is safe in Coronado. There are several gated communities here in Coronado and it all depends on where you live and how many gates you have to pass through. Condo buildings are even safer because they have their own gates. Obviously, living in a condo is more difficult for bad people to enter into. There is petty theft in Coronado, just like anywhere in the world, but in general, Coronado is very safe. Probably the biggest draw for Coronado for expats is the safety and security.
 
As a young, single American woman, I do feel safe to walk in the Coronado area and I have lived here for 12 years. I walk around and I do everything by myself and I have never felt threatened. I was in California in July, and there were two instances when I felt unsafe, and that has never happened to me in Panama in the 12 years that I’ve been here. Panama is a very American-friendly country.
Pedro Torres of ProPanama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I am not sure of the exact numbers, but I have not heard of a lot of crimes against expats in Coronado. Coronado is definitely a lot safer than Panama City because it is a lot smaller. Coronado is a pretty safe place. There are certain areas in Panama City where you have to be careful and take necessary precaution, which are the obvious ones.  In Coronado, those areas do not exist or if there are any, I haven’t seen them.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Crime doesn´t discriminate locals from visitors, and we are all Americans, because we all come from the American continent.
 
 If by "Americans" you are referring to people from the United States, local Panamanian residents in Coronado love good neighbors and visitors.  Panamanians are very friendly and warm people.  They always look out for each other, local or not.  They are protectors, and the community of Coronado Panama has always had a "watchful neighborhood attitude".
 
In a day-to-day activities and in social life, locals and foreigners share the beauty of sunsets and ocean breeze with equal satisfaction.  Everyone in Coronado minds their own business and tries to get the most out of its wonderful weekends, holidays, vacation or residential daily pleasures.
 
If, by any chance, God forbid, anything might happen, the whole neighborhood gets together to find the guilty person.  With all the security in and around the perimeter of Coronado, it is very difficult to commit any crime, unless the perpetrators come by boat from the beach, or from outside the gates.

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