Raids net seven suspects in lottery office robbery

Police arrested seven people Friday in connection with the robbery of a public lottery office in Alajuela in October, according to a bulletin from the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The robbery occurred on Oct. 2 at an office of the Junta de Protección Social in downtown Alajuela where armed, masked robbers took 18 million colons ($36,000), 12 million lottery tickets and an employee’s car, A.M. Costa Rica reported.

Police took five men and two women into custody in seven raids in Alajuela, Heredia and San José, the report said. Four of the men have previously been arrested for violent crimes, a judicial spokesperson said.

Investigators have concluded that no employees of the office assisted in the robbery, the bulletin said.

At the time of the robbery, police reported that three men performed the robbery. However, five men and two women were arrested on Friday in connection with that crime.

Investigators noted that four men have been arrested on prior occasions for kidnapping, extortion, trafficking and bank robbery. Investigators believe that Jorge Moreno Lunes headed the operation. The other accomplices with violent pasts are Jimmy Douglas Rivera Pérez, Rigoberlo Alguilar Gorro and Walter Valverde Montero, agents said.

Police did not specify what roles that they suspect Hazel Vargas Castro, María Yocanda Rodríguez Fernandez and Byron Umaña had to play in the operation.

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