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Every Two Days a Home is Robbed in the Nicoya Canton
•Houses in coastal areas are favored by crooks.
•Majority of foreign tourists do not report crimes

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

A screenshot from the video taken of the thief that broke in a house in February 19 in Nosara.

During the course of today and into tomorrow thieves will enter a Nicoyan property to steal its belongings.

Said property will probably be located in the coastal zone or close to it, and it is possible that the victim will be a foreign tourist and that the incident will take place during the evening. Moreover, it is almost certain that once the crime has been committed, the victim will not report the crime.

This scenario is an interpretation from the complaints received by the Office of Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) for 2012 in the canton of Nicoya.

According to this data, throughout the year there were a total of 173 reports of property theft as well as 4 house assaults. Of that first number, 102 occurred in the central district of Nicoya, 32 in Nosara and 21 in Samara, the remaining 18 are from the districts of Belén de Nosarita, Mansión, Quebrada Honda and San Antonio.

Nevertheless such "official numbers" do not reflect the totality of violations in housing. This was explained by Luis Eduardo Jiménez Ruiz, director of the OIJ office in Nicoya, who said that in addition to these 173 reports, an additional 40% must be added, or about 88 cases, which are not formally reported by people who suffer from damages to their property.

Jimenez referred to this 40% as a "dark figure" which is not accounted for on paper, or in the OIJ records, but that affects the real perception of public insecurity.

The reason, according to Jimenez, is that many of these burglaries occur in properties where foreign tourists live, which in many cases are rented and mainly in coastal communities such as Nosara and Samara.

According to the OIJ, evening is the most common time that the illegal entry  happens, because "people go out to eat and that's when the thieves get in," commented Jimenez.

Another point stressed by Jiménez Ruiz was that many of these buildings are luxurious, are located in poorly lit areas and are isolated from other dwellings so that criminals can enter with a significant degree of ease and tranquility.

No Report

"Once the wrongful act occurs the tendency of foreigners in not to report it," explained Jimenez since "many do not know how to and others are not interested as they are passing through or they only stay here for a short time," he said.

Jimenez referred to the case that took place on February 19, when a thief was caught in the act by the neighbors of a house in Playa Pelada. However, within 24 hours, a judge released him with orders to stay away from Nosara and appear in court every 15 days while awaiting trial.

For the director of the OIJ office in Nicoya the complaint is extremely necessary even although that man is free, "and there is an open process against him, which although it is slow due to the current legislation, should end with the incarceration of the suspect," he said.

So the OIJ warns that if you see suspicious people, you can alert authorities anonymously via OIJ’s 800 number (800-8000645).

A total of 173 house break-ins were registered.


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