• Report: #490295

Complaint Review: Tomas De La Osa

  • Submitted: Fri, September 04, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, January 16, 2010

  • Reported By: John — Costa Mesa California USA
Tomas De La Osa
www.vrbo.com/56909 Internet, Select State/Province Costa Rica

Tomas De La Osa Casa Don Tomas / Casa Santa Teresa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica vacation rental that is very insecure, prone to robbery and who's management is suspected to be providing inside information to local area thieves. Santa Teresa Costa Rica Internet

*Author of original report: Consider Santa Teresa and Casa Don Tomas for your next vacation

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Casa Don Tomas is a safe and beautiful beach home

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IF YOU VALUE YOUR FAMILY'S SAFETY THEN PLEASE READ!!! My family and I just returned from a 2 week vacation (Aug 13-27 2009) at Casa Don Tomas in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. The location although very nice (beachfront) is both very insecure and potentially dangerous. On two separate occasions thieves broke into the property while my family members were inside. A total of $5000+ in computer and camera equipment was stolen. The first violation occurred on our second night staying at the property. My pregnant wife heard a loud crack in the middle of the night. Moments later she saw a person peak through our bedroom door. In the morning we realized that one of the sliding glass doors had been forced open and the laptop and video camera located in the living room had been stolen. Ironically, the door that was forced open was the only one for which we were not supplied a board to secure the base of the sliding door. In the morning we promptly alerted both the police and the property owner (who lives away from the property in San Jose). The police arrived and commented that the house is very insecure and that it appears that all of the windows and doors have been tampered with at some time. The property only has aluminum sliding glass doors for entry which as we discovered were very easy to compromise. The maid / property manager "Chepita" was no where in sight when the police arrived. Later she mentioned that as a Nicaraguan she is in the country illegally and therefore does not want to be near the police. Needless to say all of my family were uneasy after the break in and it became very difficult for us to rest easy at night. We requested that owner provide a security guard to patrol the property at night. He promptly dismissed the idea based on the cost and difficulty of acquiring such a service. Although seemingly friendly the owner appears to consider the size of his wallet more important than the safety of his guests. Determined to put my family at ease I easily contracted a guard on my own to give everyone a sense of safety. 


After 10 days passed everyone seemed to be getting back into the vacation mode that we had intended. Our guard was in place at night and we were taking all of the extra precautions we could think of. The house has and alarm system which did not work so we requested that the owner instruct us on how to operate it. The alarm never worked as the owner was not paid up on his contract. On our final day we decided to head up the beach a bit to check out the tidepools. The maid / manager "Chepita" inquired as to where we were going. When we returned that afternoon we discovered that the the window air conditioning in our bedroom had been removed to allow entry for the thieves and our bags ransacked. We were robbed AGAIN! This time a second laptop, 3 ipods and some of my wife's makeup and clothing was stolen. After the shock died down a bit we became very suspicious that some of the circumstances were just too convenient to have occurred randomly. I'm not one to pass blame without proof but for the sake of other families that may be considering this property beware. The house is very insecure, we believe that the maid / manager "Chepita" is providing information to thieves in the area about the movement of the guests and the location of the property. Curiously, none of the valuable items that belong to the house were removed. After discussing the thefts with area residents we learned that it is common that these thefts occur based on inside information from those who work the property (maids, gardeners, etc). We were able to get over the loss of our material things but what if one of us had met face to face with the robbers? What if your family members were injured or god forbid one of your children was kidnapped? I hope that this comment helps you reconsider the property you choose on your next vacation. Robbery and theft is rampant in this area. Ask the owner detailed information about the security of the property. From my assessment there are many other options in Santa Teresa that have greater security measures and are run more professionally than Casa Don Tomas. If you want any further information then please feel free to contact me.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/04/2009 03:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Tomas-De-La-Osa/Internet-Select-StateProvince-/Tomas-De-La-Osa-Casa-Don-Tomas-Casa-Santa-Teresa-Santa-Teresa-Costa-Rica-vacation-renta-490295. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Consider Santa Teresa and Casa Don Tomas for your next vacation

AUTHOR: John - (USA)

As the author of this original post, I would like to mention here that I am at peace with the circumstances of my vacation at Casa Don Tomas.  The robberies were unfortunate and the items stolen are of little consequence in the grand scheme of things.  I do wish the incident had never occurred mostly for the fear it gave my family to have someone break into the house while we were sleeping.  This crime is not the owners fault and I am glad that steps are being taken to tighten the security in the area.  I would stay in Santa Teresa again.

Regards,

John R
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Casa Don Tomas is a safe and beautiful beach home

AUTHOR: Casa Don Tomas - (Costa Rica)








Please let me start first by saying that it is very unfortunate and that I am very sorry that this incident took place.  We at the Association of Home Owners of Santa Teresa are very much interested in the safety of our guests and their personal property.  We emphasize safety at all cost and all of the homes in our Association are required to have installed a safety security box and an alarm system.


Second, that it is very obvious that the review written by Mr. Reinhard is designed to get revenge for the robbery that took place at all cost by painting a terror scenario where thieves run loose, babies are stolen and people fear for their life.  A poor attempt designed to spread fear among the readers, get revenge and to discredit a legitimate business with inflammatory rhetoric.



After the robbery took place I spoke to Mr. Reinhard and he accepted my offer to move to my other beach home in the same property complex were he could feel perhaps more secure. He accepted and moved to the new home with the family. He spent the next two weeks in the new house without any problem whatsoever.  He actually had the use of the two houses the entire two weeks, sleeping in one or the other in accordance with his moods. 



Casa Don Tomas is not less safe than any other house on the beach in Santa Teresa.  It was just bad luck that this incident took place.  I have just received an email dated January 5,  2010, and entitled PEACE OFFERING from Mr. John Reinhard, the man that was robbed in my house and responsible for writing the bad review telling me that despite everything that happened he still had a great time in Santa Teresa and to wish me a happy New Year 2010.  I just wish that he would not have trashed the name of my house the way he did.  I am enclosing his letter at the end, for your consideration and good judgment.


In the last few months, security has been reinforced in Santa Teresa as a whole and now you have patrolmen on foot walking the beach of Santa Teresa. Casa Don Tomas after this incident is safer than ever. The house alarm system works perfectly, a bigger safe is in place and every window and door of the house has its security safety bar.  My advice for future tenants is to follow my safety instructions posted at the house, lock the house when going out and always turn the house alarm on.



 It is important, and a word to the wise, not to behave when you travel abroad likes the ugly American.  Keep to yourself and try to keep your traveling plans private. Going around waving your wallet and electronic possessions in front of everybodys face and bragging of how much money you have, can easily make you a target for robbery.



It is also important to know for people thinking about traveling,  that these things can be avoided, by not bringing laptops and i pods and gizmos to a developing country unless you can afford to loose them.  Costa Rica is not the USA and any guidebook would tell you about petty theft in Costa Rica and in the whole Central and South America Region.


Casa Don Tomas Property Manager Chepita is a God fearing, hard working woman.  She is a lovely lady totally dedicated to her job and it breaks my heart that someone can accuse her of being dishonest.  
 


It is also of the out most importance for your own safety and security not to bring strangers into your home and not to spend time partying with people you do not know and have never seeing before in your life, leaving yourself wide open for anything. 



Over the years I have had many satisfied tenants and will continue doing every thing I can to provide the best service that I can.  Again if you use common sense pay attention to your property and follow safety rules I guarantee that you will have a great time.



Don Tomas.



Peace Offering




 




Hi Tomas,

It's a new year and I want to start off with a clean slate.  I wanted to let you know that despite all of the bad luck that we had while staying at your house, there are also many good memories that I will never forget.  I think the stay had a huge impact on my 4 year old son and he remembers Costa Rica very fondly.  I felt closer to him there then I ever have and this is one of the most rewarding feelings from 2009.

I hope that something can be done about the crime in Santa Teresa because it really is a beautiful piece of the world.  Your home and property is very lovely and I aspire and hope to have something like you have one day to share with my family and friends.

Well, I hope this message finds you well and hope that we can be amigos again.

Regards,

John Reinhard



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