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Costa Rican cops dismantle burglary gang that targeted beach homes

March 14, 2014

Agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and the National Police on Thursday arrested seven alleged members of a gang linked to at least 30 reports of burglary targeting beach homes in the Pacific provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas.

The arrests were made during nine simultaneous raids in the southern San José suburbs of Patarrá and Río Azul, and in Tilarán and Cañas in the province of Guanacaste.

During the joint operation the OIJ seized flat-screen TVs, video cameras, computers, cellphones, clothing, tools, weapons and ₡2 million ($3,700) in cash.

The alleged burglars mostly targeted empty beach homes in popular tourist areas such as Osa and Tamarindo, but OIJ officials believe they may have participated in recent burglaries at businesses and homes in nearby areas like Cañas and Tilarán.

Two of the detainees allegedly bought the stolen items and sold them at a pawnshop in the capital.

OIJ Director Francisco Segura said that two other men with the last names Calderón and Serrano were arrested a few weeks ago, and are believed to be members of the same gang. Police linked those suspects to a string of robberies at beach homes in the Southern Pacific region.

The suspects were transported to the Prosecutor’s Office, which requested preventive detention, Segura said.

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