Police begin effort to end smash-and-grab road robberies

Police just can’t seem to prevent the smash-and-grab robberies that are plaguing motorists in the Hatillo area.

The four-lane Circunvalación passes through the area, and when a motorist, usually a lone woman, stops at a traffic light, some youth may smash the passenger side window and take whatever is in reach. If she is unlucky, the assailant may also have a firearm.

This has been a continuing problem not only in the Hatillos but in Escazú and other metro areas where congestion brings vehicles to a halt.

The Fuerza Pública said Wednesday that there have been
more complaints from victims and that the agency has mounted a sustainable effort.

Some residents of Hatillo 6 have asked the security ministry to keep the pressure on from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. when the window breakers are most active.

At one point police officers were stationed at every traffic light in the Hatillos. But eventually this effort faded, and the crooks returned to their bad habits.

Police coupled the effort with warnings to motorists to keep a space between their vehicle and the one in front so there is maneuvering room and to keep valuables out of the reach of window breakers. Police also suggested not doing business with street vendors who may be covers for crooks.

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