Kidnapping also is a technique to get other bills paid, but the statistics released Friday did not address other motives. In all, there were 12 kidnappings for ransom, according to a report released Friday.
A Poder Judicial report contained the obvious conclusion that most of the kidnappings took place in urban areas.
There were six in San José, two in Desamparados, three in Limón and one each in Heredia, Alajuela and Puntarenas. Puerto Cortez in the canton of Osa was the site of the only case that investigators considered rural.
Of course, the statistics only relate to kidnappings that were reported to police. Sometimes families pay a ransom and do not report the crime. Of the 12 victims, only one, a Nicaraguan, was not Costa Rican, the agency said.
Perhaps one of the more dramatic crimes happened in last November when, prosecutors allege, two Fuerza Pública officers on motorcycles stopped a woman motorist in San José.
After pretending they were involved in a routine police action, the two policemen turned the woman over to two foreigners believed to be Colombians, according to news files.
Despite this case, 32 of the 37 suspects detained for 2011 crimes were Costa Ricans.
Another kidnapping case in 2011 resulted in the death of the male victim. News files also show that there were 19 reported kidnappings in 2010.
The department in charge of putting together such statistics is the Sección de Estadística del Poder Judicial. The report said that robbers are turning more to kidnapping when they are not satisfied with the money they get from a victim.
The report said there were two such cases reported in 2012 where victims were held for from two hours to 12 days.