Expats in quiet Atenas rattled by home invasion there

Expats in Atenas are considering their options after three gunmen broke into a home last week, tied up the occupants and ransacked the place.

The expat husband said a gunman held a weapon to his head for over an hour as he was tied up on the floor.

The family was unharmed physically, but the incident, not a typical one for Atenas, has generated discussions about home protection.

Many homes in Atenas lack the steel bars and portones that are typical of homes elsewhere in the Central Valley.
A.M. Costa Rica has reported that because of the crackdown by police in the core city crooks and robbers are looking for easy pickings in the outlying areas. Although there have been similar crimes in Atenas, this may be the first home invasion of an expat’s dwelling.

Criminals typically break into the home late at night or when the home may be open for guests. Usually they have checked out the area intently and may have local help. There has been a sharp increase in such crimes along the central Pacific coast and even in the Nicoya Peninsula. There have been murders. Still, places like Escazú, Santa Ana, Moravia, San Pedro and Curridabat are more frequent targets because of their proximity to Pavas where most of the criminal gangs are headquartered.

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