I rushed to the window with another just as two more passed through the door to make their way down to the first floor of the building. “Les saltaron” or “They jumped them” one of them quickly said before disappearing.
It was late at night, and we had just said our goodbyes to several members of a group that had just left the house. I remained with the person that I had been watching out of the window with for a moment before heading down to see if I could be of any help, leaving the safety of the large metal doors guarding the parking area beneath the building complex. A small white car was parked along the curb of a dimly lit cement street with the yellow emergency lights flashing. There was a man and a woman standing next to the car with their daughter of whom had just left the building, while a young man paced back and forth near the car- all of them looking very, very upset and shaken. He explained to me that as they were leaving the building and getting into the white car two men who had been waiting patiently for them to exit the building sped up to the driver’s side window of the car with a gun pointed directly at the mother’s face. They had their faces painted as to hide their identity, and they demanded the girls purse, cell phone and the car keys. The girl threw the keys so that they wouldn’t get them, however they were able to make off with her purse and phone well before the police arrived. The mother whom I had been with earlier left with the mother who had just been mugged, her daughter and her daughters’ boyfriend in her vehicle to bring them home. I stayed with the father as well as the sister near the car to continue looking for the keys as well as to make sure that he wasn’t left alone. I was a little concerned that the robbers would return, and every time that a motorcycle came by I was a little nervous that I would see a gun pulled on us. The father tried to make small talk with us while we waited, while I made it my mission that I was going to find the keys. I searched along the wall of the compound as well as all throughout the cracks in the cement right outside of the exit. It wasn’t long before the van had returned, to my surprise with everyone still in it. She arranged her vehicle so that the car lights would shine in the area where we assumed the keys would be, but even then we didn’t have any luck in finding them. I spent some time thinking, and next to the building was a large steel door around nine or ten feet tall. There was an intricate design of metal loops and swirls on the door which I figured I could probably climb. Getting my footing right, I climbed up enough to get my hands on the top of the door careful to check if there was anything that could potentially hurt me (electric wire, nails and broken glass are a very common use as a preventative for burglary). I peered over the top, and to my surprise saw the keys about 15 feet past the door. I was overjoyed to have found them, and let everyone know. After ringing the doorbell, someone eventually came down and let us in to recover the keys. The family then said their goodbyes, and left.
If anything, this entire experience has taught me the importance of remaining alert regardless of where you are. Not to be fearful, but rather try and identify a potential issue before it becomes a problem. In this particular instance nobody was hurt, and due to the girl throwing the car keys that is one less thing that they had to give up.