Nine held in Nuevo Arenal robbery raid

Judicial agents detained Tuesday nine suspects who are accused of being members of a gang that plundered stores in the community of Nuevo Arenal last Aug. 23.

The ages of the suspects range from  20 to 45. Arrests were made in Ciudad Quesada and La Fortuna de San Carlos.

The gang of armed men descended on the community of Nuevo Arenal, cut the power to part of the town and began to plunder. The gunmen overwhelmed a service station attendant and two security guards. The victims were tied up and put in the lubrication pit of the service station. The crime happened at 3:30 a.m. that Saturday.

The community had recently lost police protection, and the theory at the time was that the bandits had local knowledge. La Fortuna is near Nuevo Arenal.

The El Colono hardware store, the local Importadora Monge outlet and the gasoline station were burglarized. The bandits got about 2 million colons (about $3,700) and electronic devices, said agents.

Residents later collected money to reopen the police station.

Two of the suspects already were in prison for other crimes, said judicial agents. Judicial agents in Nicoya, Liberia, Santa Cruz and San Carlos participated in the investigation and arrests.

In all, the suspects face allegations stemming from five robberies.

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