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Robbery and Burglary in Costa Rica

Robbery and Burglary in Costa Rica

Robbery and Burglary in Costa Rica


Overall, Costa Rica is a safe place. However, it is kind of common to be robbed mostly in downtowns. 


The way Costa Rica’s government managed the covid-19 pandemic, there were a lot of lockdowns and businesses closures. This is the reason why in 2020 there were less robberies on the street, but in a recovering scenario, Costa Rica is reaching the statistics before the pandemic in robbery and burglary. 


Here´s a graphic of percentages of robbery and burglary in Latin America according to the CID GALLUP:

paises mas seguros de latinoamerica

As you can see, Costa Rica is positioned in 2nd place with 12%. On the other hand, Guatemala (53%), Nicaragua (45%) and Ecuador (43%) are not doing so great in this area. These metrics are obtained by surveying approximately 1200 habitants of each country if they have been victims of robbery. 


During 2021, the country registered 7.137 formal complaints, according to the OIJ. But also, the statistics showed that 7 out of 10 homicides were committed with a firearm. 


There have been some car robberies in Costa Rica, here is a graphic about it and also about robberies, burglaries and assaults and the statistics between how much it happens to men and women (or unknown) :

Robos costa rica

Here’s another graphic with statistics about burglaries in vehicles, buildings, houses and robberies directly to people:

Asaltos Costa Rica

There are also graphics for the different ages of the victims of robbery and burglary for assaults, burglary, robbery and vehicle robbery: 

Hurtos costa rica

All these graphics were obtained from the website infosegura.org. 


In the following one, you can see the blue dots marking the places in Costa Rica where the formal complaints are denounced according to the OIJ

Denounced zones costa rica

The classes of theft that are reportable in Costa Rica are the following:


  • Distraction: When someone’s belongings are taken because the owner was not taking care of them or got distracted with something and got its things stolen.
  • Pickpocket: When the thief removes the victim´s belongings from their pockets, bag or backpack.  In this country, it is not uncommon that scissors or cutters are used to cut clothes or bags to possess things on the inside. 
  • With key: The burglar has a key to do the robbery. 
  • Neglect: The victim left its belongings unattended, being a bag or a house.
  • Progressive: The police also knows it like “ant robbery”. The thief doesn´t take everything all at once but it takes little by little from the same victim. 
  • Drug use: The malefactor uses a drug to make the victim sleep and take the belongings. 


As you can see in the statistics, Costa Rica is a safe place. However, you will need to lock every door and keep your belongings at sight all the time. 


Karen Ebanks

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