For many years, the Police Force in Costa Rica didn’t have a very good reputation. They had a very poor budget, bad administration and a lack of well-trained police officers. Sometimes police were coming to a 911 call hours after a crime was committed. You probably have seen many houses in the local neighborhoods with bars on the doors and windows because the people needed a minimum of protection due to the slow response from police. Although you see a lot less homes now with bars, however for a Costa Rican it will always be part of their cultures even as security improves drastically over the coming years in this country.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country with no army and very little organized crime. Before the year 2000 security was not a top priority for the government but things have change since then and a need to re-enforce the security was necessary. We now have much better service from the police, brand new vehicles and trained and well equipped officers, even at the beach.
My neighbors call me yesterday and told me that their new IPhone had been stolen from their 4X4 mule in Playa Panama and were not sure exactly what to do? I said that the first thing was to call 911 and ask the police to come. Officers Camacho and Vasques arrived around 10 minutes after the call. My neighbor had the exact location of the IPhone on her lap-top and showed it to the officers. They immediately went with my neighbor to where the signal showed the cell phone to be. They started to check everybody in the perimeter, went to a private home to investigate and ask questions to the entire neighborhood.
Unfortunately the IPhone was not found and they drove my neighbor back to her house. They filled out a report and presented the same night to the O.I.J. which is the organization in charge of investigating crimes. My neighbor was told that an officer would come the next day and start the investigation.
Amazingly, about 30 minutes later, the two police officers came back at my neighbor house with the IPhone 7 in their hands!! They said that somebody called them to report that a cell phone was found just next to the place the police previously investigate! It was obvious that the intervention of the police made the neighborhood nervous and was surprise how fast they knew where the phone was. The bottom line is that even if my neighbor had the technology to retrieve the phone, the effectiveness of the officer Camacho and Vasques was the main reason for why this situation was resolved in less than 1 hour. They could just have said to my neighbors to go in Liberia to fill the claim and let the OIJ do their job where it´s actually the normal procedure for this kind of case. However they took the initiative to put pressure right away and possibly scared the responsible party who probably was some young kids, who are most of the time the ones that steal things to get drugs or liquor!!Not professional thieves.
My guess is that the dad, the uncle or a relative of the little thieves saw the kids with the IPhone and took it back, called the cops and just said that he found the phone on the ground in order to not denounce his family members. My neighbor decided not go further with the claim as the most important was to get the phone back!! I was very impressed with officers Diego & Felix who are both specialized in tourism police force in our area and knew how to keep my neighbor calm and safe during the whole process.
Congratulations to them!