Robbery score: Five caught, one killed and four let go

The suspects were pretty flagrant, but the Tribunal de Flagrancias let them go anyway.

The suspects are the four adults and a minor who are accused of sticking up a Casa Blanca store in Moravia Saturday morning.

Judicial agents said that two fled into the parking lot of nearby Plaza Lincoln, which resulted in a shutdown of the major shopping center for several hours.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that five suspects were rounded up and that the four adults were turned over to the Fiscalía de Flagrancias. This is part of the speedy process that has been set up to handle crooks caught in the act or nearly so.

Agents said that they recovered cell phones, computers and electronic tablets taken from the Casa Blanca store, a .22-caliber pistol, clothing presumed to have been used in the robbery, a car that was seen fleeing the scene and a motorcycle that also was identified as being used in the robbery.

Still, Celso Gamboa Sánchez, a vice minister of security, reported Sunday via Twitter that the suspects were liberated with restrictive measures imposed by a judge. Usually those measures include maintaining a fixed living place and signing in with the prosecutors every 15 days.

The flagrancia courts were set up to convict and jail immediately those caught red-handed.

Judicial agents said that while the robbery was taking place, persons outside the store noticed what was happening and alerted police. That was about 9:45 a.m.

The four adults were reported to be 18, 19, 32 and 34 years old. The minor is 17, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

In another robbery case, a police officer shot it out with a suspect, and the suspect died. That was in  Sabanilla de Montes de Oca about 8 p.m. Friday.

Judicial agents said that a police officer with the last name of Flores saw a man running carrying a pistol. Persons on the street said they had been robbed, so the officer gave chase in his patrol car.

As he approached the fleeing man, the officer got out of the vehicle and ordered him to halt, said agents. That was when the man turned and fired on the officer, who was hit three times.

The police officer returned fire and delivered a fatal bullet to the chest of the suspect, who died an hour and a half later in Hospital Calderón Guardia. Agents said the police officer was hit twice in the left leg and once in the right arm. He, too, was hospitalized.

The Fuerza Pública officer is 23.

The dead man was identified by the last name of  Brenes. He was 34, agents said.

Agents said they recovered from the body of the suspect at the hospital electronic article that had been reported as stolen. They said they recovered at the scene a .38-caliber revolver. Police carry 9-mm. weapons.

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