Phoenix: Kidnap-for-Ransom Capital of America

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What comes to mind when you think of Phoenix? The desert; warm weather; kidney-shaped swimming pools; golf links and tennis courts; an affordable alternative to California; maybe and unfortunately, John McCain?

But Phoenix has another distinction. More ransom kidnappings happen take place there than in any other town in America, according to local and federal law enforcement authorities. And almost every victim and suspect is connected to the drug-smuggling world, usually tracing back to the western Mexican state of Sinaloa, according to Phoenix police.

Arizona has become the new drug gateway into the United States. Roughly half of all marijuana seized along the U.S.-Mexico border was taken on the state’s 370-mile border with Mexico.

One result is an epidemic of kidnapping that many residents are barely aware of. Indeed, most every other crime here is down. But police received 366 kidnapping-for-ransom reports last year, and 359 in 2007.

Police estimate twice that number go unreported.

This entry was posted in Crime, News, Phoenix and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Phoenix: Kidnap-for-Ransom Capital of America

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    Conservatives and neocons like to say al Qaeda and radical Islam represents the greatest security threat to the United States. I disagree. The problem of drug related crime and gang activity from Mexico making its way here is the real threat to the United States.

  2. BradFrmPhnx says:

    The drug runners and Mexican mafia are terrorizing this state of mine. I don’t mine the pot, it should be legalized anyway. Talk about a countries futile efforts…but that is another discussion. Our open and pourous borders have allowed this to happen. Arizona is broke and can’t afford to do what the federal govt. should be doing, and that is sealing up the border. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of some. It might not affect those in the rest of the country, but it is reeking havoc with us Arizonans.

    We still have the golf courses, and swimming pools, and its going to be 60 degrees today….Br-r-r-r-r, that’s frosty!

    Now if we could only get rid of that asshole Sheriff Joe. Nicklebag is a glorified media circus that costs us millions.

  3. BradFrmPhnx says:

    I should add that the beheadings within miles of the border in Tijuana and Nogales would make an Afghani get dizzy. No more trips to Rocky Point for a long time now. And that is too bad because in good times that place rocks!

  4. Scott Dancer says:

    I recently saw an article that said Tijuana is now officially “off limits” to the U.S. Marines stationed in San Diego due to the violence in Mexico.

    “TJ” has long been a destination for U.S. servicemen and day trippers from Southern California who go down there to party and carry on.

    But Mexico is now more dangerous than Iraq and the Pentagon won’t risk the lives of the Marines.

  5. libhomo says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t nabbed Cindy McCain. She has the biggest bucks.

  6. Gleneagle says:

    Good point. Cindy McCain’s bony, chicken ass is like a bank. They could demand millions and the old man would pay.

    Or would he? Hmmmm?

  7. JollyRoger says:

    And think of the stash they’d confiscate from the Prescription Princess! It’d be a haul worth as much as the ransom they’d demand from old Johnny.

  8. Nigel Karston says:

    By all accounts we get in the UK media, Mexico has become a largely lawless, third world nation, with a barely functioning government, controlled by 11 drug cartel families.

    While I was initially horrified at talks of building a wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to keep the riff-raff out, perhaps it’s a sound plan for the US to carry forward and maintain national security? You can’t seriously address the problem of Islamic fundamentalism and its role in American national security and ignore Mexico.

    I certainly realize how politically charged the idea of a fence is to many Americans but, Phoenix today and Seattle, Denver, and Atlanta tomorrow?

  9. Ypsilanti says:

    We’re friends with a couple who retired to San Antonio, TX years ago. When we would go visit them, the entire group of us would drive down to Laredo to shop and have lunch.

    Our friends won’t go to Laredo any longer because the crime and the the kidnappings have reached such a level that they’re afraid to go.

    The last time they visited, our friends told of the Mexican military patrolling the streets in pairs, with machine guns draped over their arms. The shops were almost empty, as were the restaurants.

    It’s a shame that an entire country can be held hostage by a small group of drug dealers. I fear if this problem takes root in the U.S., we will have a war on our own soil.

  10. See, this proves we need a giant wall, you terrorist sympathizers!

  11. Fran says:

    Great! Now all those people with problem children are going to move to Phoenix!

  12. TOM339 says:


    Just one, big happy family.

  13. Randy Arroyo says:

    I have cousins in Phoenix and they say the crime there — especially in south Phoenix is terrible. Even worse than Los Angeles which is 3 times bigger. Lots of gang activity and drugs. Not good and where are the Feds? Oh, that’s right. They’re in Iraq.

  14. BradFrmPhnx says:

    I don’t think the crime in Phoenix is worse than in any other big city. Certainly the Mexican Mafia has had an influence, but there is no more gang activity here than in any other city. I am not afraid to walk any street in Phoenix during the day. Now if you go to the south side at night in any big city, you’d be taking your chances. And everyone is staying clear of the border towns now. But no, Phoenix is a wonderful place to live. And there are many, many good hispanics here. Don’t let the fear turn into racism. I think it is important to recognize that the problem is more with the illegal immigrants that are here than the crime. The illegals are costing our schools and hospitals and social programs hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars. Just in AZ alone. Probably 99% of the hispanics here are wonderful people. Family oriented, hard working, honest and caring about their community. Education is the key to breaking the current status quo in Mexico. We need to work on that for them. Otherwise our southern neighbors will always be a burden to us.

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