Police search for armed gang in Osa amid other crimes

Tactical police squads are trying to find a group of up to 20 individuals who have adopted military dress and are holed up in or around Parque Nacional Corcovado from where they raid local homes.

The police are responding to a series of home invasions in Drake and other population centers on the remote Osa Peninsula. The robbers are said to be heavily armed and perhaps a spinoff from a drug organization. There may be as many as 20 robberies.

That was not the only major police incident Monday and Tuesday.

In Liberia a 20-year-old mother died when her former companion shot her twice in the head. He then took his own life.

Bandits invaded a used car dealership in Barrio Cuba, San José, and abducted a woman employee. The woman is believed to be a hostage held for ransom. She works at Autos Leo.

In Sagrada Familia in south San José, a daytime home invader stole valuables and then abducted a 9-year-old girl. She was released several hours later.

Late Monday a 19-year-old pregnant woman died from gunshots that may have been a criminal act or an accident, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Also Monday night a 23-year-old man died when assailants shot him at least once in the head in his home in 15 de Setiembre, a community in Hatillo. Agents said at least 12 shots were fired from a vehicle outside.

In Guápiles, agents located the body of a missing 26-year-old teacher who vanished Jan. 3. She had been receiving threats and a co-worker has surrendered himself to investigators. The body had been burned.

Also in Hatillo a 17-year-old night school student died when robbers stabbed him in the chest.

Also Monday bandits burst into a home in Sabanilla de Montes de Oca north and east of San José and stabbed a 65-year-old man in an effort to steal his collection of banknotes. He survived.

The situation on the Osa peninsula was prompted by a series of home invasions. But some residents said they saw a group of up to 20 persons, including women, traveling the trails in military dress. The area is dense jungle.

Heavily armed police were making sweeps but there was no report of success by Tuesday night. Drake is on the extreme western edge of the peninsula but not all the home invasions were in that community.

The Judicial Investigating Organization identified the dead woman in Liberia by the last name of Blandón. The man agents believe shot her was identified by the last name of Trejos. The killing and suicide happened about 11 a.m.

The man had been ordered out of the house and the woman had a no-contact order. She lived in the home with their 3-year-old.

Agents said the man arrived and asked the child to go to a nearby store for an errand. A quarrel ensued and neighbors heard shots, agents said.

The Barrio Cuba abduction still is unresolved despite a large display of police. The auto dealership has been the site of holdups in the past.

In Sagrada Familia it was a 14-year-old sister who gave the alarm about her abducted sibling. Police were told a man came to the home and identified himself as a family friend. Then he took the younger girl by force. She was set free in another part of the community.

The 19-year-old pregnant woman was identified by the last name of Sánchez. The Judicial police said that there

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