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Police arrest 4 suspects with fake police gear after dramatic chase, shootout

October 20, 2014

Authorities arrested four suspects who apparently impersonated police officers during a bungled truck robbery in Río Lagarto on Sunday. Police discovered guns, sirens, emergency lights, and shirts and bullet-proof vests that bore the initials of the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) at the scene, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.

Acting on an anonymous tip, police interrupted the bandits, identified by the surnames Rojas, Salazar, Alfaro and Zamora, as they attempted to rob a truck bound for Nicaragua loaded with domestic appliances and cash near the Río Lagarto intersection, along the border between the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste. After the police arrived, the gang split up and fled in two cars.

Suspects Rojas and Alfaro reportedly jumped in a blue car with the truck driver handcuffed inside. The duo fired their weapons at police as they tried to escape but soon lost control of the car, veering off the road and into a ditch.

Later, in Cuatro Caminos, police found the second vehicle driven by Salazar, Zamora, and a yet-to-be-identified fifth suspect. The truck driver’s assistant was also in the vehicle handcuffed. The getaway car tried to a avoid a police checkpoint, but in the process the driver lost control of the vehicle and flipped it. Salazar and Zamora were arrested after a brief chase.

In a separate statement, the OIJ reported that three 9-mm handguns were confiscated along with the clothing and equipment similar to that used by OIJ officers. OIJ reported that at least two more suspects in the robbery remained at large.

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