Agents manage to recover some of the stolen Glock pistols

A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper Security ministry officer checks out one of the recovered Glock 19s.

About a quarter of the 215 pistols stolen from a Policia de Transito temporary government storage facility a week ago were recovered Friday from a house in Alajuelita. They were taken to the national arsenal where officials promised they would be guarded closely.

The successful Friday raid was the second in a series conducted by judicial agents in search of the lot of Glock, 9-mm. handguns heisted by bandits. The recovered 56 guns and 101 clips were found hidden in the walls and roof of a residence in Concepcion de Alajuelita, and one man was taken into custody in relation to the stolen weapons, the judicial police said.

The first round of raids shortly after the guns were stolen Jan. 30, resulted in the discovery of several illegal firearms but none of the stolen government guns. The Judicial Investigating Organization conducted another five raids Saturday, but a spokesperson working for the Organization said he did not have further information and said details would be released Monday.

Officials also suggested that the robbery was likely a sophisticated network of criminals with an existing market connection to distribute such firearms. The stolen government firearms are clearly identified with serial numbers and “MOPT” logo, signifying Ministerio de Obras Publicos y Transportes, which is the mother ministry of the Transit Police. But identifying markings on guns are often destroyed for distribution on the black market.

The guns had been left for a significant time under minimal security conditions, with only the protection of one private security official. The total worth of the equipment stolen was estimated at 83 million colons ($165,000) by officials. Left behind by the thieves were 165 more guns as well as radios, bulletproof vests and other police equipment stored in the same facility.

Following the robbery the traffic police director, César Quirós and two other ministry workers were suspended from their posts. At a press conference Friday Vice Minister Rodrigo Rivera, said an internal investigation in the security breach was continuing and didn’t directly answer questions about why the guns were left unprotected for such a long period.

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