It's Christmas Time: Beware Los Ladrones...

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I didn't believe it when my neighbors warned me of the spike in B&E's (Breaking and Entering, aka burglaries) that occur each year around Christmas time.  But it's true. 

Just the other day, three houses in our immediate area were hit.  Nobody was hurt and nobody was at home but each house reported losses of small appliances, computers and Christmas Gifts. 

That's the carrot that accounts for the spike in B&E's this time of the year. Those without steal from those who have.  And who has all the stuff... the gringos, that's who.

We take precautions as best we can to protect ourselves and our possessions.  We lock our doors and windows.  We even install steel bars but a simple car jack will render the bars useless.  All they do is slow down the burglary process.  Some homeowners even add concertina wire to fences to thwart people climbing over, but that really looks like shit.  Others homeowners add alarm systems but unfortunately that doesn't do anything except make a lot of noise.  We hear alarms going off all the time and it doesn't even spark curiosity.  And as for the cops... there aren't any.  In most cases we are on our own.  So what (WTF) are we supposed to do?

Once burglarized, homeowners become pissed off and automatically assume all Ticos (especially the barefoot ones) are ladrones (thieves).  They become fearful and are determined to never leave their house unoccupied.  In other words they become self-imposed prisoners in their own home.  That's bullshit!  If there is any good news in all of this is that the ladrones are rarely violent.  They don't want to hurt you.  They just want your stuff.

Here are a few tips we can do to help mitigate the chances of us becoming burglary victims.

  • Don't set patterns in your daily schedule.  In other words, don't go shopping every Tuesday at 9am.  Make your schedule unpredictable.

  • Make your home look occupied, leave inside lights on at night when you are gone

  • Leave a stereo or TV on and make sure it can be heard from outside the house.

  • Always lock up.  Put tight fitting steel or wooded poles into all sliding doors and windows

  • Close drapes or blinds when you are away.

  • Never invite anyone into your home that is not a close and trusted friend. 

  • Tell your neighbors (who you trust) when you will be gone and for how long.  This must be a reciprocal relationship.

Don't kid yourself, these ladrones are smart and they are organized.  They have been watching you and know your movements.  They may even know more about you than your friends do so keep an eye out.  A friend just sent me something that completely freaked me out; a chart that identifies the graphical codes the ladrones use to identify potential burglary spots.  Check around your property and look to see if you have been marked.  If you do, then try and call the cops and let them know you have been identified as a potential donator to a Tico Christmas.

Feliz Navidad


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