December 12th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) In a series of 12 raids in Guápiles, agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) succeeded in dismantling a criminal group dedicated to robbing homes and businesses as well as car theft. The group apparently operated with the assistance of a police officer of the Fuerza Publica in Limon.
A total of 11 individuals, most of whom have previous criminal records, were apprehended. One of those arrested is a 31-year-old police officer.
According to the director of the OIJ, Francisco Segura, the group operated with the assistance of a police officer that supplied the group with information on police activity, allowing the group to operate while evading law enforcement.
“[This group] has been operating for five years and have been arrested several times,” Segura said.
According to authorities, the group was involved in robberies across the country, from Guápiles, Guanacaste, Limon, and San José. In addition to home invasion robberies and stealing cars, the group has robbed jewelry stores and supermarkets, authorities said.
One of the suspects is also believed to have participated in the violent armed robbery of fifty worshippers during a church service in Limon.
Authorities also said the group would extort its victims into dropping charges against them.