Victim in a hurry allows three young crooks to walk

This trio got to go home. . . again. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Jorge Alonso Alvarez V.

One or more gangs of youth in the Hatillo area steal from motorists on the Circunvalación highway by breaking the passenger side car window and taking whatever is available.

This has been going on for years, and Fuerza Pública officers have been unable to stop the continuing wave of criminality. So they were happy Wednesday when they were able to nab three youngsters caught after breaking a car window.

But it turns out that the motorist declined to file a formal charge because the time spent to do so would interrupt a trip to Guanacaste, said police.

The usual target for such crimes is a woman driving alone. Many keep their purse on the passenger seat. Police said they had to let the three 17 year olds go free. But they also noted that they were free after earlier crimes.

The three have been detained for similar crimes twice before, said officers. Last week the three youth went before prosecutors for this type of crime. But they still were set free.

Frequently the replacement cost of the window is more than the value of what is stolen.

Hatillo is a prime location because several sets of traffic lights stop the flow of vehicles long enough for crooks to break windows. However, similar crimes have been reported by motorists stuck in traffic in Escazú and other places in the metro area.

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