SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — For many in Southern California, Labor Day means a weekend south of the border. But border travel restrictions in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 could mean fewer tourists in Northern Baja California this holiday.
Still, Mexican officials are making sure people get back to the U.S. safely and they don’t become victims of crime, especially at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The northbound traffic lanes at the border crossing have become a haven for robberies, especially against Americans. That’s why Tijuana’s Municipal Police has announced an operation to crack down on thieves who prey on people who are waiting to cross.
According to officers, the most common crime is someone reaching into a car and taking purses, bags, cellphones and other items.
Thieves also impede the flow of traffic by blocking lanes and only moving away until someone agrees to pay up.
Tijuana Mayor Arturo González Cruz has pledged to make things “as safe as possible” for tourists.
“We’ve been conducting operations at the crossing to fight delinquents in that area, we’ve learned there are groups that have come together to commit crimes at the international crossing, and we’ve been taking note,” said González Cruz.
Tijuana police officials have said they will target vagrants and people who roam the area “granting passage to cars in the area.”
Most of the suspects are said to hang out at the nearby Tijuana River Channel, where countless homeless people and drug addicts loiter.
The crackdown on crime at the border crossings began Wednesday and will continue through Monday when most tourists traditionally return to the U.S.