Bandits hold two expats for 16 hours near Cóbano

Two U.S. expats were gagged, robbed and held in their home for 16 hours by a group of bandits from Friday to Saturday in Betel de Cóbano on the Nicoya peninsula, investigators said.

The robbers kept the couple detained for so long because initial attempts to take money off of their debit cards at nearby automatic tellers failed, according to a bulletin from the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Investigators are keeping the identities of the victims secret while the case is under investigation.

According to the judicial bulletin, a group entered
the home at 9 p.m. and forced the two victims to give up the security numbers of their debit cards before gagging them.

At least one of the robbers took the cards to an automatic teller machine and tried to withdraw money using the cards but failed, while the rest of the group kept watch over the victims. The report said that when the cards did not work, the robbers decided to keep the victims detained and wait until the next day to try again.

When the robbers could not get money from the cards again the next day, the group decided to rob items from the house. Investigators estimate that the robbers took about 12 million colons or $24,000 worth of property not including a vehicle.

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