Houston police announced Wednesday the discovery of a kidnapping and robbery operation in which unsuspecting people were snatched and held hostage until their relatives paid ransoms of a few thousand dollars … the actions of the ring mirror random kidnappings that have plagued Mexico and other Latin American nations for years … experts familiar with so called "express kidnappings" taking place just south of the border said the Texas operation appears similar … The operation sounds familiar to Hector Navarro, assistant security chief at the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He said such kidnappings are nearly a daily occurrence in Mexico. Attackers grab people off the street or from taxis, drive them to ATMs and force them to withdraw $500 to $1,000 from their accounts, Navarro said. And similar to the Houston victims, people in Mexico don't call the police.
-- “Kidnapping ring similar to scams south of border,” by Dale Lezon and Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2007
Semi-related: Report From Occupied America: Sunday in the Park with Jorge, by Steve Sailer