For many Semana Santa is a time for reflection and rest, taking the time to visit the beaches and resorts. But for others it is a to take advantage of the empty homes and parked cars.
According to the statistics of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), home break-ins and vehicle theft increases during Christmas, New Years and Semana Santa, mostly due to negelct of owners.
Authorities recommend to have someone look after you house while you are vacationing and notify neighbours of your absence. If you are not off on vacation, be alert of any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood.
Also a good time to make sure your home and vehicle insurance policy is paid up and appropriate coverage to protect your property.
Park your car in a “safe and reliable” lot, avoid as much as possible parking it on the street, especially overnight. Don’t put your complete trust on the “wachiman”.
Installing security devices in your home and vehicle deters petty criminals who are looking for a quick score. Alarms may not protect you from being robbed, but it can be a great deterrent.
The OIJ says the areas of Desamparados, Tibás, Movaria, Goicoechea, Hatillos, San Sebastián and Alajuelita in San José all have high incidents of crime during the holidays.
A real terror faced by some during the holidays is the “bajonazo”, the Spanish word from being held up at gun point while you are in your vehicle.
While it may not be unavoidable, staying alert can help and not putting up resistance can mean being able to tell the story – your life is more important than your vehicle.
If you realize you are being followed and are about to be a victim of a bajonazo it isn’t advisable to stop, keep going and call 911 for help. Driving into a public place like hospital or police station may abort the attack against you.