Enterprising Mexican thieves south of the US border fence have stolen some of its barbed wire and used it to fortify homes in Tijuana, a local police chief said. Catching the thieves in the act has proven difficult.
President Donald Trump ordered the security fence separating San Diego from Tijuana topped with razor-sharp concertina wire back in November, as the United States braced for the arrival of multiple ‘caravans’ of illegal immigrants. “No climbers anymore under our administration,” he boasted.
Several months later, sections of the wire are missing, and are turning up on people’s homes in Tijuana, police chief Marco Antonio Sotomayor Amezcua told local news outlet Milenio.
“We know about the theft of barbed wire because United States authorities have requested our help,” Sotomayor said. The chief explained that the wire is stronger, sharper, and of better quality than anything sold in Mexican stores, a thumbs up of sorts for Trump’s beloved American manufacturing industry.
But, in the spirit of the “innocent until proven guilty” principle, the police chief added that they couldn’t help their American colleagues as the thieves usually manage to slip away from the fence before his officers arrive on the scene.
Meanwhile, footage from Mexican television shows the Tijuana houses newly wired-up.
US contractors were busy at work replacing the missing sections of wire on Monday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported. Its reporters saw homes just feet away on the Mexican side decked out in what appeared to be freshly-stolen barbed wire.
Unsurprisingly, none of the residents were keen to explain where their new home security upgrades came from.
Reynaldo González Mora of Tijuana’s border liaison unit has said that 15 to 20 suspects, all of them Mexican citizens, have been arrested over the wire theft thus far.
“Most were people who have been deported from the United States, and people who have problems with drug addiction and live mostly on the street,” González told the Los Angeles Times.