Violence only breeds more violence. If you start taking bats and knives to the crags, then they will just get guns. If you take guns, then they'll shoot first, mug later. In the case of 'boven, these guys are not mugging cos they are trying to get rid of pent up anger, they are poor and hapless.
All the ideas that get mentioned have been raised. You can put up a bounty on the criminals, but it wont stop them. You can catch the guys doing it today, but there are more waiting. At one point, there was a rather unsavory chap who was leader of the whole bunch, and he got caught a while back and the crime stopped, but perhaps he's not the only one involved. It's not up to expecting the locals to fish out the crooks. Tell me this, when have the climbers ever done anything for the locals at boven? They have no reason to support our eccentric hobby. We come to town with coolerboxes laden with food, meat and booze, buy up the property cheap, and then just expect that everyone there is going to help.
We as climbers should be setting up community outreach programs, and giving something back to the town. This would make the locals endear our presence. I take my hat off to guys like Glenn and Gustav and Mike who have done so much for the area. Between them, they have set up camps, mountain biking trails with employment opportunities, and vast amounts of commercially viable climbing and adventure operations. If more people joined hands and made an effort, perhaps we could create a vibe of mutual respect in the area.
So, instead of the usual attitude of pulling out your fists and bats, why not look at the problem as one that can only be changed when we realize that it's not all about us. I for one will keep on donating what I can to the cause, I'll keep on riding there, climbing, and with a smile on my face. This is our country and I'm not going to live in fear, but I'm also not going to lower myself to the level of a cheap thug and carry a pole around with me to beat people up.
Anyhoo, Evil or Very Mad about your ordeal, dude. Glad you and your wive is safe.
Anyhoo? This reminds me of Southpark!!