Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Criminal Incident

The Embassy has been notified that on Sunday, November 8th at approximately 9:30 p.m. several apartments in a building housing several expatriates from the United States and Canada were forcibly entered and burglarized by two armed individuals. Two assailants, reportedly wearing dark clothes and masks and armed with pistols, entered the residential compound by way of a malfunctioning pedestrian gate.

In light of this recent criminal incident, the Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens that situational awareness and knowledge of your surroundings are the most important tools we have to help keep ourselves safe.  To this end, the Embassy recommends the following:

•        Note the functionality of landlord-provided security devices and equipment in your compound and, if it is not in good working order, report it to your landlord.  Landlord-provided security devices include perimeter walls and anti-climb measures, cameras at entrances and along the perimeter of a compound, access control points and gates, perimeter and public space lighting.

•        Utilize security devices and ensure they are in good working order.  Security devices include: residential alarms, window and door grilles, security lighting, and deadbolt locks.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to the Department’s Traveler’s Checklist.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.