New local program created to help limit scams and extortion across the border

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita couple was extorted and digitally kidnapped when their digital information was stolen while in Mexico. Because of this, the Wichita Police Department created a new program that would help track and deal with these types of crimes.

Wichita police officer Paul Cruz says since they first started to learn of these cases more people have come forward to report these crimes.

“It didn’t even enter our minds that this was a possibility that this would happen to us,” said Paul, Wichita resident and victim of extortion.

It happened a couple of months ago when both victims, Paul and Elena, flew to Durango, Mexico for vacation.

“We traveled to see Elena’s family,” added Paul.
 
On the third day of their vacation, Elena and Paul became victims of extortion and were digitally kidnapped; meaning their identities were stolen and used on social media by a stranger in Mexico.

“Crime and Justice Without Borders was a program that was initiated here in the Wichita Police Department with the purpose of being able to give citizens from Wichita an opportunity to report a crime that may be effective when they travel to Mexico,” said WPD officer Paul Cruz.

With the quick minds of their families and the working hands of WPD officers, the couple was rescued from Durango, Mexico, and flown back to Wichita within eight hours of their extortion.

“They sent a team to get us out of there,” said Paul.

Crime and Justice Without Borders is a new avenue for Wichitans to report anonymously what happened to them while on the other side of the border.

“They can now report that crime to the Wichita Police Department. We will then refer the information to the federal authorities that are in Mexico,” said Cruz. “We are really happy that the program that we launched has already seen successes.”

If you would like more information on how to report a crime or if you wish to talk with one of the officers of this program you can call 316-268-4605 or email PCruz@wichita.gov.

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