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Marela Camarena of Alto Boquete Condominios – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Condo in the Chiriqui highlands, Alto Boquete Condominiums, Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in Boquete is very low. So far in 2017, there is only one murder case. Boquete is a very secure place and foreigners can walk into town without fear of their purses being grabbed from them.
 
However, for Panama in general, some locals may be dishonest. Someone who leaves their bag or any valuable item unattended may not find these items when he returns. You have to be very careful with your personal belongings. 
 
Crimes of opportunity weren't prevalent in the past, but when foreign visitors started moving to Panama, opportunities to commit crime such as theft increased. Panama locals know that expats and gringos come with money because they rent or buy big houses. The wealth that expats bring tempts locals to commit theft, although theft is not something that happens all the time.
 
When I was a kid, we didn't have fences around our house. A few years ago, my dad's car got robbed and the thieves took the car radio. This is when we decided to put up fences around our house. It is advisable to have fences around your house and to keep doors and windows locked.
 
Expats who go out at night in Panama City may be robbed while walking on the street or their houses may be broken in while they're away. However, in Boquete, it is safe to go out at night.
 
As a young woman in Boquete, I am not afraid to walk on the streets during the day, but I am afraid to go out alone at night because some areas are dark. At night, I prefer to go out with someone or use my car. I have never been robbed while waking in Boquete, nor have my relatives and friends.
 
My mom is a nurse in a public medical center in Boquete. She and her colleagues would always keep their purses locked securely in their desks. There was one time when my mom left her purse and mobile phone on her desk while she went out of the office for a quick period and her purse and phone were gone when she returned. 
 
Thieves take the opportunity to grab items left out in the open or take advantage of people who are slow or not aware of what they are doing.  
 
(Condo in the Chiriqui highlands, Alto Boquete Condominiums, Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
​Boquete safety is rather like a glass half-filled with water. Perspective! In actual statistics, Panama’s overall crime data is not that bad. A 2014-2015 chart revealed the crime data at 8.6% and the perception of crime to be almost 26%. Like I say, rather like the half-filled glass of water. Some people are alarmed, afraid, worried constantly and see the glass as half empty. You know that a good number of us see it as half full. Statistics show Panama to be a good place to live. However, any place is dangerous if you are too incompetent to pay attention or too unconcerned to take precautions. So yes crime is up, and no, we don't like it, but we still like Boquete!

Crime in almost any country is cyclical. It increases as the prosperity of the victims grows. With the large influx of expats in Panama, there is a rich bounty to be harvested in these mountains. Crooks recruit adolescents, and kids to do the stealing, the harming, and the murders. Kids will not spend time in jail. They will not go to some halfway house, either. The teens and pre-teens get their hands slapped and turned loose to their parents. The same ones that allowed them to get involved in crime in the first place. This is not a good way to deal with criminals and recruiters that paint a great future for these kids of money and power.

There has been an increase in break-ins. There has been an increase in violence, even murders. Mostly done by teens, all armed and dangerous.

I compare the crime here to small towns in the USA, especially the poor areas. It is crimes of opportunity  and greed, mostly. Relative to the poverty when one home has a nice car, electronics, big screen television, jewelry and more, they become targets. That is what is happening in Boquete and Chiriqui Province.  The out-cry has been heard by the government here in Panama. New police cars, more patrols, more officers, more neighborhood watches are available. Awareness programs for gang bangers, security firms are on the rise as well.

I once managed a property in a very dangerous neighborhood sixteen blocks from the White House. Crimes and criminals all over the place. Every kind of security the company provided or added were totally useless against the kind of drug dealers, users, abusers, killers that lived in this area. What the police told me is that by the time you buy it, they have already figured a way around it! Determined people will find a way to by-pass a security system. If you think you are safe, I doubt it. I am of the old school: get a gun and keep it handy. Crimes of opportunity happen. Kids, poor, and otherwise, want a fast dollar and they will get it one way or another. This happens in small towns all over the USA, and it happens in Panama, too.

Go to the Panama government sites and look up crime and statistics. If it scares you, stay at home. We truly understand what a safe country the USA is; that is why we came to Panama!
Wee-Yiong Fung of Prestige Panama Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Entrance to Las Colinas, Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in Boquete is fairly low. You won't hear about a lot of crimes because it rarely happens in Boquete. Crimes, such as murders or rape are unusual in Boquete. We get more news on car crashes than somebody getting killed in Boquete. 
 
You will hear crimes of theft and burglary, like someone breaking into a house and taking the TV or someone leaving their bike outside and somebody taking it, but nothing major. 
 
(Pictured: Entrance to Las Colinas, Boquete.)
Lissy Lezcano  of Lissy Lezcano Attorney & Mediator – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The people who are doing crimes of robbery and break-ins are form outside Boquete.   – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe people who are doing crimes of robbery and break-ins are form outside Boquete.  A couple of years ago, the crime rate in Boquete started picking up. We had a lot of break-ins and a few incidents of people getting hurt. But it’s now much better. In Boquete, you will not worry about getting robbed on the streets or getting hurt in the middle of the night.
 
The government has increased the police units in Panama so I think the crime rate has gone lower. I really do not worry about crimes because Panama is a small country. David and Boquete are small cities so we don’t have as many crimes as the big cities.
 
Still, it is recommended to close your doors, windows, and to practice other safety precautions that you would normally do for your house. Don’t go showing your phone around, especially if you have a nice iPhone or smart phone. We hear a lot about robberies of cell phones and computers in Boquete so I do not recommend that you leave any valuable things where a thief can see it such as in your car, for example. 
 
In general, the crimes in Boquete are crimes against property and are not violent crimes.
 
(Pictured: Small waterfall in Boquete area.)
 
Mike Vuytowecz of Inside Panama Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Crime is a problem everywhere in the world, but it is much less of a concern to me in Boquete compared to cities in the US.  Opportunistic theft is the biggest concern, so people take steps to make their property unappealing to the would-be thief using alarms, bars, locks, a dog, etc.
 
There is an organization that supplements the local law enforcement that assigns a number to a subscriber’s home.  If there is an emergency, the homeowner simply makes a call to the bi-lingual dispatcher with a description of the emergency and the home’s individual ID number. The dispatcher then calls the appropriate responder (police, ambulance, fire, etc.) and communicates the property location based on the ID number for quick response.
 
Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
bars on windows houses Boquete Panama crime rate Boquete Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in Boquete is pretty low at this point. There was a time when one guy was responsible for a very high percentage of break-ins when I first came here. He is now in jail and will be in jail for some time. He was very effective after committing around 50 to 100 break-ins, but they later trapped and caught him.
 
Otherwise, the crimes here are episodic and tend to be non-violent crimes. Having an alarm system really makes a lot of sense because someone can jimmy a window if you don’t have bars on it and thieves tend to be very resourceful. What thieves usually look for are highly portable items such as cell phones, iPads, laptops and jewelry, so that they can fence their stolen items quickly.
 
I had a situation when I first moved here, which was scary in a way. It happened before we had our dogs Molly and George. I woke up one morning, went in the office, and I went back in to see my wife Alicia, to ask her where she put her computer. She didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. So I started checking things out and found that her laptop and my laptop were gone. Our cell phones were gone, too. I went inside the guestroom and saw my briefcase turned upside down by these thieves. They took all the cash, but being gentlemen, they left me my passport, cedula and all of my credit cards! They jimmied the window, got in and out and we didn’t know it at all. Those guys were good.
 
That will not happen where we live now because we now have perimeter alarms just like most people. If something trips over the perimeter, there are 24 spotlights that will go on and 12 cameras with recording that will tell me exactly which section of the perimeter was violated. Then I will go to the monitors and check and probably say, “Oh! It is that big white dog again! Thank goodness.” Having cameras and alarms visible to would be burglars makes a lot difference because they will go elsewhere, if you have cameras and alarms. I am willing to pay US $40 per month because we have four partitions in our perimeter. If the alarm goes off, I get a phone call within 10 to 15 seconds, and if I do not give the secret password, the cops will be on their way right away.  
 
I don’t think the crime rate here in Panama is that much different in the US. I have been mugged a couple of times in New York City. The first time was when there were a couple of guys who pulled a knife on me, I smashed the guy in the face, and he and his buddy took off, but not before his buddy got a good whack at me. That was relatively uneventful, but it shows you that Irish courage really does work. The second time I got mugged in New York City, I would have given the guy whatever he wanted because he had a butcher knife at my throat. I lived in a really neat townhouse just off of Fifth Avenue and there was a teacher living there from one of the local colleges. There was a young man waiting at the door who looked to me like he was a student – a big student, but a student nevertheless. I made the mistake of letting him come in with me. He let me into the elevator first and when I turned around, he had a butcher knife at my throat.
 
The point of telling these stories is to illustrate that crimes happen here from time to time just as crimes happen in New York from time to time, but one crime is not representative of what happens on a regular basis. No matter where you are, you should always conduct yourself appropriately. It does not matter if you are in New York just off Fifth Avenue or in Boquete; you should not leave your front door open.  
 
There are two fundamental ways of dealing with break-ins here in Boquete. Many folks like me do not have bars on the doors and windows and that is one of the reasons why you would want to have a perimeter system. The house we used to live in, which we recently sold, had bars on all the doors and windows. After they jimmied the window and stole our computers, we put bars on all the doors and windows. We didn’t need a perimeter system because no one is getting through those bars since those were put in with big bolts. You will see that most houses, if people can afford them, they have bars on the doors and windows.
 
If you cannot afford to have bars on the doors and windows, it may well be that you are in a community with reasonably small lots and you have nearby neighbors, which is your other protection. If it is apparent to the community in general that you have something worth stealing because you are in a very big house or some other reasons, then it is a good idea to have an alarm system and barking dogs, in which case, you do not need to put bars on the windows because you have your security system. If you do not have your security system and it is apparent to the community that you have stuff worth stealing, then it is a good idea to have bars on the windows and doors. If you can afford to have that to the extent that you have two nice big dogs that are what we call “inside dogs” – they may be outside in your yard during the day but at night, they are in the house so they cannot be dealt with-- then you will be in very good shape. If you take these precautions, you would be safe in Boquete. I feel just as safe as in Boquete as when I am walking down a street in Providence, Rhode Island.  
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The crime rate in Boquete is very low.  Because it is a small, mountain community many people know each other and violent crime is not tolerated.  The comparison to a small town in America is accurate and Boquete has the feel of a rural, agricultural community.
 
 
Craig Fennell of BC's Beach House – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boquete is as safe as any small town in America.  It is always important to be aware of your surroundings just as it is in the US or Canada.  It is a small town where the majority of people speak or understand English.

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