Many rental homes in Playa Guiones were burgalarized while familes were eating dinner out at a restaurant. Be aware that this is a risk!
Do you have any better information about preventing this? Were they locked?, for example and then
broken into? What can be done besides "awareness"?
My family rented a house with burglar bars on every door and window; they were easily bent open, and the safe was broken into also. Renting a home with a burglar alarm could help, but the wires can be cut. Hiring a security guard to watch the house when you are away during the dinner hour could minimize the risk, as most burglaries we heard about occurred when people were away at dinner.
Or else you should just bring the stuff that you really needs when on holidays. Leave expensive toys and gadgets home, same with jewellery (if they are no burglars in your town). When going to dinner take your credit card and passport with you. Statistically it is a lesser chance to be a victim of a robbery then a victim of a burglar.
"Many houses were burglarized".....really? How many? All in the time you were there? Yes, there is petty theft in Costa Rica, especially where there are tourist. I know you don't mean to bash a particular town. What house were you in? How was it handled afterwards?
Thank you Allylam...I wonder how many houses were broken in around Telirude in a week?
Incredible small world...good people and a lot of bad people...
I feel the need to reply to your post. I am sorry you were to subjected to crime while in CR. On the other hand my husband and I spent 10 days in CR in Nov. We stayed in 3 different locations, all considered high tourist areas. We walked the beach and the streets of Tamarindo at night, several times. We ate and walked around La Fortuna at night and talked to friendly locals. I never felt threatened or uneasy, not one time. As in the States don't be a victim, take precautions with passport and money, be aware of your surroundings. Looking forward to our already planned next trip !!
My wife and 2 very young daughters stayed in the main Guiones beach area in a VRBO rental house early in May 2014. During one of our daytime trips to the beach, our house was broken into in broad daylight. Heavy metal bars on a back window were removed and the safe in the master bedroom was cracked. They made off with both of our computers, all of our cash and credit cards, and a couple of random items from the inside of the house. For whatever reason, they left our passports, maybe to ensure we could leave and make space for their next batch of victims.
When we discovered the home invasion, we called the tourist police and our main Nosara contact. It was very clear from their response that home invasions are not uncommon in Nosara. Nobody acted even remotely surprised and nobody even pretended that they were sorry. In fact, the police suggested that we were somehow to blame for possessing the things that were stolen in the first place. Or that maybe we had talked to and been friendly with the wrong people. The thing is, none of that was even remotely true.
We are the careful parents of 2 young girls, not drunken surfers looking for trouble. We maintained a low profile in Nosara. We always used the safe. We locked the fortress-like house up tight every time before leaving. We never left the house showing off expensive things, not even phones or cameras. We were never away from the house for long and were always home before dark. But none of that mattered. We were clearly profiled and targeted by coordinated, experienced criminals who were willing to act in broad daylight.
After filing a police report, we stayed in the area for another week while we sorted out the assorted messes the home invasion had caused. During this time, we shared the details of our experience with many local businesspeople to try and get some perspective on the experience. Through this interaction, it became increasingly clear to us that the local businesspeople and expats in Nosara are all well aware of the ongoing presence of organized criminals who are targeting tourists, mostly for home-invasion properly crimes. We were also told that locals all know that living down in the main beach area is a bad idea because its not secure.
Nosara is working hard to minimize awareness of this very real problem. But once you've been robbed, they stop trying to hide it from you and fall back to the position that "nobody is getting hurt" in the home invasions, as if that somehow makes it sort of okay.
By the time we left, it was clear to us that we'd been had. Nosara isn't the safe paradise that we were sold. For sure the beach and landscape are incredibly beautiful. But look around when you get there and ask yourself why every house has a high wall around it and heavy metal bars on every window? Ask yourself why people feel compelled to hire guards? Ask yourself why every single house seems to be for sale? And ask yourself why it seems like everyone is watching you?
There's something going on in Nosara and its probably not what you think.
Well, I feel like the Nosara police: Not surprised at all.
These crimes seem to come in waves - they never hit all of Costa Rica, but tend to be localized. One year it's Tamarindo, then Nosara, then Samara, then Montezuma, etc. The problem keeps moving around.
Once in a while, law enforcement is successful and manages to apprehend a gang of these criminals. However, it's much like a hydra and with the arrest of one gang, two more show up.
It's a shame - but the country lacks the resources to combat these types of crimes. As always, innocent victims have to pay the price...
So sorry that they made you pay, too.Edited: 13 September 2014, 01:50
Well I will cross that place off my list!
Yes, there are things you can do, that will prevent being robbed. All of Central America has problems with thieves, Costa Rica is no different. Costa Rica, does not have the violent crime that most other countries have. Many tourist show up with all of their electronics, flashing them around, spending more money on meals than Costa Ricans make in a few days. All of these things cause a reaction for thieves, they will watch where you are staying, and break in to get your personal belongings.
You must make sure you have adequate security where you are going to stay. You must also realize, that while you feel you are in Paradise, you are just in a change of topography, with tropical beauty, it does not mean you are not going to have your things stolen, just as you would in LA, New York, Rome, London, anywhere there are thieves.