Lets get right into this topic as it really irritates me when people comment or speak about crime with an uneducated or generalized perspective.
“I hear that Crime is really bad down south.”
“Someone at the bar said to be careful as Crime is on the rise.”
“I overheard this guy saying that he got his car broken into…”
I had a rough week hearing these statements, while at the same time being inundated with images of riots in Baltimore, USA.
First, let’s define crime in Costa Ballena. Is it homicide? Murder? Looting? Theft?
This is my twelfth year and I have never heard, read or known of any homicide or murder in the Costa Ballena of Costa Rica. Never.
As for looting, I do recall one sunny afternoon when a truck overturned and all the fruit (melons by the thousands) were splattered on the highway. People dining at ‘sodas’ (small eating spots) ran out to help the driver collect his load.
Theft? Now we are talking…
Imagine this (if you can) the average wage is $500/month. The Costa Ballena is still a very rural area (remember, this is the reason you want to invest and live here) and those that are not professionals are laborers making $4.00/hr.
The average smart phone costs $250+, as does the average digital camera, notepad and/or Blackberry.
So, using my well-trained mathematical skills, one could steal a cell phone and sell it on the market for about 50% of their monthly wage? And in less than 15 minutes?
I love learning about how to be a better investor, whether it is in equities, real estate, or buying into a nice business. Fifty % in 15 minutes seems like a fantastic way to achieve my investment objectives, quickly.
That is the reality in Costa Rica and in most parts of the world where the average monthly salary is less than the cost of a fancy cell phone.
That is our Crime. You allowed it. You let your guard down. Bummer. Go ahead and “Cry-Me” a river. Now get over it.
Do Not Leave your Electronic devices in your car – period. Do not leave your luggage unattended. Just don’t! You are on vacation driving a rental car. That automatically makes you a target. Everyone knows you have travel money and a camera or smart phone “they” see you snapping away, documenting how wonderful your vacation is in Costa Rica. Don’t think it won’t happen to you and be aware.
Now that I’ve shared my perspective, be smart and travel smart! When you drop your guard, as I can attest too, you will get taken. You wouldn’t leave all your fancy camera gear while parked at the beach where you live so don’t do that while in Costa Rica!!
Life is peaceful in these parts…