On 2 November 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy in Santiago advises U.S. citizens of an increasing crime trend in the Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar area. Victims will experience unexpected car problems, such as a flat tire, while driving or after leaving a restaurant, business, or tourist area. An individual(s) will act as “good” Samaritans and offer to assist. Then, one or more individuals will distract the victims while another person will take their belongings in the car.

“In addition, criminals are using Bluetooth scanners to find electronics left inside cars. They have a device that looks for “Bluetooth to pair.” These criminals break into cars emanating strong Bluetooth signals as they walk through parking lots and garages.”