The Samara Chamber of Tourism recently issued an advisory cautioning people to keep their valuables with them in the bus at all times and not to use the overhead bins because of recent thefts.
“The thefts are perpetrated by people who get on the bus posing as helpers, offering to stow items in the overhead bins. They disappear with the bags before the bus has left town,” according to the advisory.
Brandon Park, owner of Entre Dos Aguas hotel in Samara, said that he has recently had guests who were robbed both coming from and going to San Jose. One couple from Germany had one of their bags stolen as they were leaving Samara last Thursday, January 17th, losing their passports, identification, money, an iPhone, a camera and a personal diary, among other items.
They related that the individual came onto the bus, asked to see their tickets and then took their bags, so they thought he was an employee of the Alfaro bus company but were later informed that only the driver himself was an employee.
Emilse Steller Ramirez, administrator for Alfaro in Samara, said that the bus driver was negligent during this incident since he left the bus door open when passengers were on board and he went inside the Alfaro office to drop off packages. Ramirez said the bus driver should have closed the bus door to ensure that non-passengers wouldn’t be able to get into the bus when he wasn’t there.
Although the bus driver should be watching over things and is responsible for luggage stowed in the compartments below the bus, she advised that passengers should be very careful with their luggage.
Park said he considers Samara as safe as anywhere else but nonetheless advises his hotel guests to “try not to leave your brain at home when on vacation.”
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