Officials in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta moved to reassure tourists Tuesday after up to 16 customers were abducted by gunmen from an upscale restaurant.
The mass kidnapping from the La Leche restaurant, located on the main drag of the city's hotel district, happened around 1 a.m. local time Monday, authorities said.
However, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board said no tourists were involved and described the incident as “isolated.”
“As an immediate safety measure, security has been reinforced in Puerto Vallarta to ensure that residents as well as tourists can continue with their normal activities,” it said in a statement.
“Early findings from the investigation led by the State Attorney of Jalisco, Eduardo Almaguer, stated that in a first examination, the victims and perpetrators belong to criminal groups from another region of the country, confirming the likelihood of this being an isolated case.”
Mexican media said as many as 16 people were abducted, but authorities did not immediately confirm that number, the Associated Press reported.
"According to witnesses from the place, several gunmen arrived to the place aboard a Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Suburban, who deprived the freedom of a group of people who were at the site," Jalisco Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer said in statement translated by NBC News.
When police arrived, they found a Dodge Challenger, a Jeep Limited, a Land Rover, a Cadillac Escalade, and Honda CRV that may belong to the abducted patrons, the statement said.