Crime is ever increasing in Costa Rica - don't be fooled by the "statistics" "they" give you because I can tell you that BY FAR the MAJORITY of ExPats living in Costa Rica that have shared their experiences with me of problems with a bandit/robber - most do NOT notify the authorities - feeling "Why bother?"
"WHY the heck have the NOT reported crimes against them?" you ask? In part BIG TIME because an even bigger amount of people that HAVE reported crimes experienced:
#1 - VERY FEW of the banditos were even caught - let alone stay in jail very long - IF at all.
#2 - It was such a hassle HAVING to go to the OIJ (the Organismo de Investigación Judicial [pronounced “O-E-ho-tah”] - Poder-judicial.go.cr/oij • Facebook.com/pages/Organismo-de-Investigaci%C3%B3n-Judicial/162025663834408 ) which is Costa Rica’s version of the FBI and where you need to go to report most crimes - BUT they are NOT in all cities!!! NOTE if you must go to one, at least in their San Jose office, they always seem to have SOMEONE that has some level of English skills! Even if you speak a fair amount of Español, don't even try - I find many people felt they got better service with the English-speaking person
#3 - The visit at the OIJ can take a LOT of time so be prepared.
#4 - If you're a tourist and you file some sort of complaint - chances are good they'll expect YOU to be there for the court date which means an expensive trip back to Costa Rica months + later.
#5 - Many feared worse retaliation from the bandito as it is NOT unusual for them to come back - especially after they've seen what you have (EVEN with Home Invasions).
So you can understand why many say "Why bother!" eh??
The challenge with that is the statistics get screwed up and if "they" feel crime isn't such a big deal - not as much $$/support goes towards security.
ExPats - IF you are a "victim" of a crime - PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR Embassy!! ESPECIALLY if there seem to be some anti-ExPat or specific nationality energy going on.
So THIS is what the original story was about - inspired on what I witnessed on New Years Day in Costa Rica 2014!
SERIOUSLY peeps - do NOT NOT NOT leave ANY boxes in front of your house - out in the trash from your Christmas gifts or ANY box you get ANY time of the year that might put the BIG RED "ROB ME" sticker across your forehead!!!
#1 - MOST places I know (NOT just in Costa Rica), the trash pick up is OFF a day after Christmas AND often a day after New Years so plan accordingly. BEFORE the holidays, find out OFFICIALLY what are your holiday pick up days.
#2 - I just walked 5 blocks on New Years DAY - when the streets and MANY houses are EMPTY - and I can't tell you how many people had their new 42" tv and new computer boxes, etc. out in front of their house - for the WHOLE world to see - INCLUDING banditos (who sometimes are those people that regularly go through your trash if you leave it out before the trash man comes)!!!! And they will NOT be picked up for at LEAST another day!!!
Peeps, how do you think AAA, etc. opens your locked car?? There are gizmos ANYONE can get to jimmy a lock in SECONDS - while just standing in front of your car facing OUT so no one realizes what's happening - LockPickShop.com/AT.html
Help yourself!!! Look at the nice new things you can HAVE!!!"
(and if you do and it happens, PLEASE do NOT cry about it or blame the banditos!! [yeah that's a harsh statement but OFTEN WE set ourselves up to attract situations don't we???!! I sure know I do like when my housekeeper stole THOUSANDS of $$s of jewels from me!! I didn't have them locked up real well as I couldn't IMAGINE he'd EVER do that to me since I treated/paid him SOOO WELL!])
Ya wonder why crime during these 2 weeks are the HIGHEST of the year . . . .
If I had a car/truck I'd drive around neighborhoods removing these for people!!! (if anyone is in Escazu now and wants to do it, I'll go with you - SERIOUSLY - 8-378-6679)
On the POSITIVE NOTE - if you're moving any time in the future, it's a GREAT time to get some good boxes!!!
This is also an IMPORTANT time to SERIOUSLY consider using the services of a House or Pet Sitter!!!
LOVING YOUR PET HOUSE SITTING!
facebook.com/LovingYourPetHouseSitting • LovingYourPetHouseSitting.com
(if I'm not available, I also have some other resources I can share!)