Police frustrate bands of metal thieves

Police detained four men Wednesday morning and seven in the afternoon during an effort to prevent the theft of railway material.

The arrests brought to 15 the number of persons detained this month for taking metal that belongs to the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles, the rail agency, said the Fuerza Pública.

Officers said the rail agency has been plagued by such thefts. The arrests were made at Alto de Birrisito in Paraíso de Cartago. The bulk of the material consists of metal cross ties from an unused line. Each cross tie costs the rail institute 35,000 colons, about $66, said officers. The thieves are believed to be selling the metal to junk yards for 2,000 colons each, less than $4.

The rails themselves are too long and heavy for most individuals to handle.

On its new and rebuilt lines, the rail agency now uses concrete cross ties.

Metal theft suspects are searched from going to flagrancy court.

Metal theft suspects are searched from going to flagrancy court.

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