A Mesa, Arizona, family was carjacked on their way to their vacation home in Puerto Lobos, Sonora, Tuesday night.
Mason and Natalie Davis and two of their seven children packed up their Toyota Tundra and loaded three ATVs and a mountain bike on a trailer they were towing and set out for their vacation home about five hours south.
It’s a trip they had been making for the past 20 years without incident and without ever questioning their safety. But about four hours into their trip, as they neared El Sahuaro, Caborca, a sedan pulled up and ordered them to stop.
“He rolls down his window and pulls out a machine gun and I say, ‘Oh my goodness, this is bad,'” Mason Davis said. “As soon as we come to a stop, he jumps out and immediately runs to the truck, and I put my hands up and said ‘You can have the truck.’”
As Davis exited the vehicle, one of the gunmen went to climb inside, where Natalie Davis and their two daughters remained. After he pleaded with the gunmen to let his family go, they did so before jumping in and taking off so quickly the doors of the truck were still open as they left.
One of the couple’s daughters was using the Snapchat messaging app at the time of the incident and a brief recording showed her sobbing, mouth agape, as her mother tries to comfort her. “We’re alive, you guys, we’re alive.”
Natalie Davis and her daughters ran into a nearby field to hide in case the men returned while Mason Davis flagged down a van from a nearby mine. The driver took the family to a military base where they called friends back home who alerted a neighbor who works for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Another mining company van took the family to Puerto Peñasco where they were dropped off at a hotel for the night as the U.S. border closes at 8 p.m.
Although the hotel was full, a couple who own an apartment opened up their home to the distraught family, who had lost passports, phones, money and everything they had with them in the nightmarish ordeal.
An agent from the U.S. consul met them Wednesday and escorted them back across the border.
“As sad as it was to see the truck we just finished paying off drive away full of everything, at least we have our family,” Mason Davis said.
The family was not aware that they needed Mexican auto insurance, making the US $70,000 theft a complete loss.
The Sonora Ministry of Public Safety announced an increase in police, military and National Guard patrols in the area.