A Problem with Theft in Costa Rica
Costa Rica News – Costa Rica has a law where if you steal something under the value of $1000 it is considered petty theft and is not considered a crime that can be punished. This causes a quite a problem when it comes to petty theft in Costa Rica, be it iPhones, laptops, cash, or other small possessions.
A buddy of mine and I were thinking about forming a business where tourists and locals could enjoy inner-tubing down one of the rivers in Costa Rica. They could do like what we used to do in Texas, rent tubes for about $10 a piece and spend 3 to 6 hours with a cooler full of beer relaxing and enjoying the flora and fauna of Costa Rica or just getting drunk and enjoying the day with friends.
As we began discussing this idea we ran into 2 major problems.
1. We knew that finding an unpolluted slow moving river river (not dangerous rapids) was next to impossible in an area that would entice people to take a short trip from San Jose to partake in the activity.
2. We knew that if we had for example 1000 inner-tubes that we were renting out, about 10% of them would be stolen each weekend.
Ticos in most cases do not need the items they steal they just take them because they can. I confronted a Costa Rican once about why many steal so much and it is not about necessity, it just because they want to see what they can get away with. He told me they consider it the fault of the person that they stole from that that item was left unprotected. Also when they are caught it is not that they feel bad about being caught for doing something wrong, it is they feel bad for being embarrassed for being caught. Strange coming from such a devout Catholic society, but I think that some of the most religious people are also the most hypocritical.
The reason for this article was something I saw today in regards to manhole cover theft in Costa Rica. Constant stealing manhole covers, mainly in Alajuela and Cartago, that are taken to iron smelters is causing new manhole covers to be made from polyethylene.
The National Roads Authority purchased a number of storm sewer lids made with this polymer.
In this way protects the security of the citizens and will discourage theft, as the new covers can not be recycled.
The first three were placed yesterday on route expansion Carthage-Paradise, and it is intended that each time one is stolen that it will be required that it is replaced immediately.
So instead of passing a law that punishes people caught stealing these the CR government would rather spend more tax player money just replacing the ones that are stolen. Perhaps you should fix the problem instead of putting a band-aid on a laceration.
Always remember to lock your belongings in a safe in your hotel room. always lock your rental car and put any valuables in the trunk. Do not leave any valuables on your towel on the beach. I would carry a copy of your passport and leave the original in the hotel safe. Just because you are on vacation do not leave you common sense at home.