QCOSTARICA – The Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) reported 1,587 complaints of vehicle thefts in the first five months of this year, that number is higher than the 1,300 recorded in the same period of 2021.
According to the Vehicle Theft Section of the OIJ, by cantons (municipalities), Alajuela takes first place, a position it has maintained for the last three years, followed by San José and Pococí (Limón).
To avoid being a victim, remove your keys from the ignition, lock the doors, close the window, and park your car in a well-lit area, a secured parking lot, or a garage. You can install security devices, such as power or fuel cut-off, alarm, satellite tracking systems (GPS) and vary the most frequently used routes (don’t be predictable), among others.
Don’t leave the car running even for 30 seconds if you’re going to get out because that’s all it takes for somebody to jump in and steal a car.
Never leave valuables like laptops, bags/briefcases, purses/wallets or cell or any other high-value item clearly visible area of your car. Use the car’s glove box or trunk to stow the valuables as they can be eye candy for the thief.
Also, avoid leaving important documents inside the vehicle.
To avoid being scammed or jacked when selling a vehicle, make sure that the source where you advertise it is trustworthy, and that contains security measures. Do not provide bank account information, such as access passwords or dynamic keys; make sure that the buyer calls you by phone, not by WhatsApp, and do not give the keys of the vehicle to the apparent buyer.
Finally, the OIJ indicates that in case of being approached by criminals not to resist and file a denuncia (complaint) as soon as possible.