Robbers on the night shift hit two hotels in city

The bold downtown robbers seem to be targeting hotels.

Bandits robbed two such places in San José early Wednesday within an hour.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the first place hit was a hotel on Avenida Primera at Cuesta de Mora hill just a short distance from the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones. That happened at 12:20 a.m.

Three men, two with guns and one with a long pipe, arrived at the gate to the reception area and threatened the lone employee inside, said agents. Under threats from the gunmen, the female employee opened the gate or porton and was quickly bound, gagged and thrown to the floor, said the agency. The crooks got away with about 3 million colons, about $6,000, the judicial police said.

A short time later men arrived at the locked front door of the Sportsmen’s Lodge on Calle 13 between avenidas 9 and 11 in north San José. They produced what looked like a hotel key to the guard and said they were returning to their rooms after a night out, said a spokesman for the hotel and restaurant. Once inside they tied up the guard and sought cash. The spokesman said that the four crooks did not get much money, but that they took
computer equipment. He speculated that a fifth man was waiting in a vehicle outside the business.

Later in the day at 8:50 a.m. two armed men held up the lone employee at a cell telephone store near the main office of Correos de Costa Rica, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. They took cell telephones and portable computers to the tune of 7 million colons, said agents. That’s about $14,000.

A robber did not fare too well in Guápiles about 1 p.m. Wednesday. The man entered a jewelry story in the center of town and produced a gun. The owner was one of two persons there, and he struggled with the man, who fled with a small amount of jewelry, said judicial agents. A short time later they located a suspect in a nearby vacant lot and recovered a plastic gun and jewelry, they said.

The two hotel robberies are not unique. There have been other such crimes in the city center. In two cases, the crooks went from room to room to awaken guests and take their possessions and money.

The daylight downtown robberies may not be by the same gang. There has been a wave of such crimes, mostly at stores located on the main pedestrian promenade, the bricked over Avenida Central. The robbers still are loose despite beefed up Fuerza Pública presence, municipal police and surveillance cameras.

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