Group of thieves set up shop at Costco Puerto Vallarta

They act in groups of at least four individuals, they can be men or women and their victims are regularly elderly, the most vulnerable. The thieves resort to one of the old tricks of the pickpockets: they stain the clothes of their prey, they act as if they help him, but in reality, they make off with a wallet, or purse with the money, and take flight.

This has become a regular occurrence at the Costco store in Puerto Vallarta.

It’s 5:15 in the afternoon. A woman over seventy years old, accompanied by her escort and driver, goes to aisle seven of the self-service store to pay for the products she had chosen.

From her clothes, she takes out a wad of bills to pay in cash. Her personal guard, as always, is alert to any suspicious movement around her. His mission is to safeguard the life of “your principal.”

That man suddenly detects an individual who is sitting in one of the benches in the food area, but unlike all the diners he is struck by the fact that he is only observing the customers, who does not have a drink on the table, which seems suspicious.

In order not to alert the woman, the escort stays very close to her, knows that something is being plotted around her. With his eyes, he begins to observe to locate his possible accomplices and thus he detected the second, who was right next to him.

Suddenly the guy who seconds before was sitting on one of the benches, begins to shout that the lady had defecated in her pants, pointing at a stain on her clothes, which drew the attention of the lady, who evidently was annoyed with her escort, which quickly detected that the stain was chocolate, “it was somewhat thick,” she said in an interview.

The escort asked the woman to move towards the exit door and not go. For the thieves to see that he was armed, the escort raised his shirt a little, while holding the handle of his pistol, letting them know that he would not hesitate to use it.

“We got to the exit door, I looked for both sides looking for his accomplices. So I detected one of them, with a perfectly shaped beard, he looked Colombian, well dressed, he had a very colorful tattoo, in the shape of a ‘cross’ and he was holding a high-end phone, it seemed that he was communicating with someone else, referring to us,” the custodian said.

“On the other side, on the street was another individual, riding a red motorcycle and had a white helmet that prevented him from seeing his face. I knew then that at least four of them planned to rob us. ”

Once safe at home, the lady asked her escort to return to Costco in Puerto Vallarta to talk to the manager of the store and explain what had just happened, because she considered that it was to the detriment of the store itself, mainly for not ensuring the safety of their customers.

He fully identified himself before the manager of Costco, showed him his permission to carry a weapon and said that he was not there to joke, but to clarify what happened, it was then that he realized that the store manager had already received previous complaints from customers.


One foreigner women encountered the same experience at Costco in Puerto Vallarta where she was alerted of a stain on her pants and two women escorted her to the bathroom to help her clean her clothes. In the bathroom, the two women threatened her with knives and robbed her of her belongings.

That victim did not want to file a complaint and left the country, after having suffered the trauma of having been robbed and threatened with knives.


The escort in the first instance asked the manager to show him the video to identify the subjects who tried to assault his client, through the old scam of the stain, unfortunately he did not get a positive response as the answer was simply limited to tell him that “for security” they had to send a letter to Costco headquarters located in Mexico City to see if they were authorized, however the argument was that they had made the request on other occasions during this scam and Costco’s office denied access to security footage.

Pickpockets who engage in the “scam of the stain” regularly act in groups of between two and up to five individuals.

They study the movements of their victims in banks or self-service stores. They detect how much cash they carry, they are regularly elderly. When selecting his prey, a guy cleverly approaches and stains her clothes on one side, while another approaches trying to pretend that they will help.

They take her away and take them to a secluded place, like a bathroom, trying to make him feel ashamed. What they have thrown at the target is chocolate, or a mixture of paint for hair, mustard and other things that look like the person had defecated in their clothes.

Thus, when the clothes are removed, they offer her paper in the bathroom while the other takes advantage of the distraction to strip them of their wallet or purse. When the victim notices that they have been robbed, their victimizers have already vanished.


With information from NNC

Puerto Vallarta News

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