Costa Rica has a tourist-friendly reputation and the lowest violent crime rate in Central America, but such images can be deceiving. There is still a lot of crime here, most often thefts from vehicles and robberies, both in urban areas and on beaches and in national parks. Some trails have been closed because of robberies of hikers. The recent murder of two U.S. college-age women in a region that has been begging the government for almost two years for more police protection is a reminder that vigilance is required, even in a place that seems serene and peaceful.