How it works:
- Beach: where tourists are relaxed, or when they head to the water.
- Street, mall, shop, park: distracting and snatching from you, then escaping via a getaway car or down a street corner.
- Bus: stealing unattended bags/luggage in luggage compartments; or creating a distraction by falling/spilling a drink on you (banana plantations around Limon).
- Car: smash and grabs (in San Jose); parked car break-ins (at beaches such as Playa Santa Teresa; Playa Hermosa, Playa Biesanz)
- ATM: one taps your shoulders as you are withdrawing money, claiming that you have dropped a $10 note. Once you turn, another grabs your cash and card.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – e.g. Uvita: Parque Nacional Marino Ballena)
- Check out other hotspots of violent crime
What to do:
- Valuables: avoid laying out on tables or carrying in your hands while walking.
- Bags: consider using lockable bags that can be locked to another object and cross body anti-theft bags (difficult to snatch).
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – review).