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Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

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New York City, New...
posts: 6
reviews: 7
Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Hi. We're just returning from Santa Teresa and we had a great time. However, on our 2nd to last night there we went to dinner and came back to our room only to discover our door had been kicked in and the thieves stole the safe that was BOLTED to a concrete wall. To be honest, we were shocked/panicked as our passports, credit cards, cash, IDs and computer were in the safe and it really sucked. The hotel management was amazing and that's why I'm being anonymous as to what hotel it happened. The manager helped book us flights to San Jose so we could go to the Embassy to get Emergency passports. He also helped with all translations with police and covered all remaining expenses. The hotel staff was incredibly kind to us and on our last night the chef hand-delivered our meals to us at dinner.

I'm posting this as a warning to anyone in the area now or planning to arrive soon. At the police station, the investigator told us we were the 15 person to have this happen in the last 2 weeks in this area and the same night we were robbed so was a guest at the hotel next door!!!

The robbery put a damper on our experience but we were happy we weren't in the room or walked into the room as this was happening. This was my 3rd trip to Costa Rica and I love it there and I plan on many more trips. I just wanted to share my story to help others.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 6,982
reviews: 57
1. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Now that really sucks. 15 robberies in 2 weeks is way too many and whatever police branch involved should respond quickly and efficiently (even if in Tico time)!

posts: 536
reviews: 49
2. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Sorry this has happened to you. Incredible!

Puerto Viejo de...
posts: 282
reviews: 37
3. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

I live in Costa Rica (on the Caribbean side) and I really appreciate your attitude. thank you for not getting angry and for appreciating the help you had from your hotel. This is a problem everywhere and in most places the locals are working on solutions (we are here).

I would also like to emphasize the advice I give every visitor. Do not bring anything you do not absolutely need. If you can get away with a small camera and no computer, that is best. You can always check your email at an internet cafe. Leave all the techie stuff at home and enjoy nature's beauty.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
posts: 2,139
reviews: 9
4. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

wow! That is determination! So sorry to read of your experience. How did no one hear a safe being ripped from a wall? Happy to hear that the hotel was so helpful.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,921
5. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

That is terrible...I really hope the police find somenthing about it...it really make me sad...many nice people have had been working for years to improve tourism..to have some ugly guys destroy our efforts...

Thank you for been so kind about the whole issue!


Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 536
reviews: 9
6. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Wow! With that great of service, you should be sure to give the hotel a good writeup on TripAdvisor.

That's crazy with the whole safe being gone though. I can't believe the hotel didn't hear them doing that but I guess it depends on the way they are set up.

Glad it worked out in the end :)


Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,484
reviews: 13
7. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Thanks for the message. Glad to hear you are safe and that the staff at the hotel you stayed at was so gracious and helpful.

This robbery is not typical....to steal a safe! That is rather brazen! How in the world did the thief accomplish this? How can other hotels prevent this from happening? This is way over the top!

Considering the theft, you are handling this very well. Hope your next visit to Costa Rica is 100% safer and more relaxing!

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,461
reviews: 36
8. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

I agree with Wefish, you handled this unpleasantness like a champ, good for you, personally I think I would freak...

Hard to believe they have had so many of this type of theft in the last 2 weeks and have been able to do nothing about it, they need to get on the ball over there. Ripping safes out that are bolted in seems like noisy work. Hope the crime spree ends as quickly as it began and folks staying there can rest a bit more easy.

Thanks for taking the time to let folks know about your experience. Remember travelers, all hotels also have a hotel safe in the front office, you can always ask to use this if you feel the safe in the room is inadequate.


New York City, New...
posts: 6
reviews: 7
9. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Thanks to all for your kind words.

The hotel where we stayed had individual bungalows and we were tucked in the back away from the main walkway so I believe that is why our place was targeted as it was pretty dark and allowed for a quick escape with the fence to the back of our bungalow. We discovered the barbed wire fencing had been cut so that they handed over the safe to someone on the other side and they escaped into the darkness.

Hotel management was very frustrated with the situation because there were 3 guards on duty and no one saw a thing. However, to the guards defence the property is pretty vast and you can't be everywhere at all times. My boyfriend and I also said when we go on vacation we tend to set into a routine and we would leave for dinner just about the same time every night. The thieves could have been watching us for a few days.

Also worth a mention - we had issues with the safe not holding a code when we checked in. We told the front desk and they had maintenance fix it but they did so when we were out of room the next morning at yoga. I was caught off guard that they let someone enter our room while we weren't there but I thought they were trying not to inconvenience us. The maintenance man saw what we had in the safe - we didn't want to point fingers or draw any conclusions but it seemed a little suspicious at first. But when we heard from the investigator that we were the 15th person to have the same type of crime we felt a little bit at ease.

The lady at the US Embassy said she had 8 couples come in the Monday before us that were staying in our area and had the same crime happen to them. The investigator felt a gang of professional thieves were to blame as this was considered a pretty complicated crime.

Going forward, I won't bring any computers etc. with me. I really should have known better anyway. The positive side of the story is that we had to extend our trip a week to get new documentation and rebook flights. We spent the time surfing, swimming, doing yoga and enjoying the sunshine - hey there's much worse places to be stranded!

Again, my perception of Costa Rica has not changed and that's the important thing that I communicate when sharing my story with others. I really do love it there....people are so friendly and I love the culture.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,461
reviews: 36
10. Re: Warning - Safe Stolen out of Hotel Room

Hats off to you again for the upbeat attitude, in the immortal words of Monty Python "Always look at the bright side of life" (insert whistling)