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Mexico’s $80M booming industry: Bulletproof Vehicles

'Looking for protection'

By David Agren, Special for USA TODAY

MEXICO CITY — Carlos Nader drives the congested streets in a bulletproof Mercedes-Benz equipped with pepper spray and a 120-decibel alarm.

He has had bullets bounce off the car and once scared off an assailant by blasting his alarm, which is as loud as a jet engine.

Nader knows his car makes him a target of kidnappers and thieves in a country that has an “alarming” rate of carjackings and ransom abductions, according to the U.S. State Department. In Mexico these days, “everyone’s a target,” said Nader, owner of Protecto Glass International, a vehicle armor company.

A growing number of Mexicans — including many from the middle class — see bulletproofing their vehicles as a necessity and not a luxury.

Nader says the typical customer these days “is a regular guy that works, maybe he has a small business and he’s been approached by criminals to steal his car.”

“You’ll see Hondas, small SUVs … pickups,” Nader said of some of the vehicles arriving at his business.

Extortion is now commonplace in some regions of Mexico. Kidnapping has soared by more than 300% over the past five years and since December 2006, more than 28,000 Mexicans have died in killings blamed on drug-cartel violence.

The violence has sparked a jump in bulletproofing.

For the rest of this fantastic article click here: www.usatoday.com

For More Informartion on Bulletproofing your car click here: www.protectoglass.com

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