A recent increase in early-morning police patrols in Tijuana’s Zone Norte has been noticed by this reporter, and the police substation at the juncture of Constitución and Callejon Coahuila has reopened after being closed for several months. The substation serves the notorious nightclub district in the area, and its steel cages, resembling animal pens, are frequent repositories for the area’s local muggers, drunks, dope dealers, and general ne’er-do-wells.
Between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., patrols are now numbering perhaps 20 officers, especially on the corners of Coahuila and Revolución, Constitución and Coahuilla, and Constitución and First Street. The resumption of patrols seems to have coincided with the capture of suspects in a spate of police murders...or perhaps it’s the reaction to a noticeable uptick in muggings.
The increase of police did little to save the life of a man murdered outside the Tropa Bar on the corner of Coahuila and Revolución last Thursday, October 29. According to Tijuana’s Frontera newspaper, two men applying a chokehold to the victim were arrested after being observed by auxiliary police.
This chokehold technique to rob victims has been employed by two-man teams of muggers in the Zona Norte: the victim is grabbed around the neck from behind by the first assailant. The chokehold renders the victim unconscious in a matter of seconds, due to pressure on the carotid artery. As the victim is pulled backward to the ground, the second assailant will rob the victim, sometimes by slashing his pockets open with a blade.
This style of mugging is efficient for thieves, except it can be deadly for the victim, who sometimes never regains consciousness, as in the case of the mugging last Thursday. The victim was approximately 55 years old. Several of these types of muggings have occurred in broad daylight, according to locals.