According to Public Security Ministry reports, there are some 200 known repeat offenders of assaults and thefts walking on the streets of San José.
Of the 200 attackers, most have had anywhere from 50 to 100 run-ins with the authorities, according to ministry spokeswoman Patricia Meléndez.
The problem is that the courts repeatedly free the offenders because their offenses are considered petty, evidence is lacking or victims don’t press charges, the daily La Nación reported.
In one case, a resident of Turrialba, on the Caribbean slope, had been arrested nearly 400 times for everything from assaulting people in the street to stealing cars.
Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Director Jorge Rojas, who is asking for more resources for his force, told the daily La Nación that so far this year, nearly 2,300 street assaults have been registered.