Suspected home invader gets just 22 days in prison

Of the four men found in a vehicle Saturday night with firearms, two-way radios, gloves, ski masks and plastic ties for presumed victims, only one has been ordered into preventative detention.

And that was only until May 5, according to the Fuerza Pública.

Two more men who were in the vehicle in Tibás when police stopped it were freed without charge earlier on the orders of a prosecutor, police said earlier.

The 28-year-old man jailed for the next 22 days has the last name of  Mackenzie. He has been detained 22 times earlier for drug crimes, robbery, aggression with a weapon, illegal possession of a knife, attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm, said police at the time.

His companion, identified as a 20-year-old man with the last name of  Sáenz has been ordered to sign in with prosecutors every three days, the Fuerza Pública reported. He, too, has an extensive police record.

The vehicle stop involving the four men got more press than normal because the owner of a B&B near Tamarindo died from injuries suffered in a home invasion April 1. The car in Tibás seemed equipped for a similar crime.

Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública issued a press release praising its work in the first three months of the year in Tamarindo.

The ministry cited a reduction in crime of from 40 percent to 100 percent in the district.

The ministry said that in the first three months of 2015 there were but 13 robberies compared to the same period in the prior year when there were 24.

The ministry also cited statistics for what it called robberies of buildings. These could be simple burglaries or more serious events. It said that in January to March this year there had been no such crimes compared to 11 in the same period the prior year.

Contrary to the statistics, the Fuerza Pública rushed officials to Tamarindo Thursday in the wake of the death of Barry Lawson, the B&B operator. He lived in nearby Playa Langosta.

The agency said it was beefing up the number of police in Tamarindo and nearby areas.

The statistics might be due to frustrated Tamarindo residents failing to report all but major crimes. In fact, the home invasion that eventually ended the life of Lawson was not reported in the usual daily summary of police activities following the crime.

He died later at a San José hospital.

Residents and business people in tourism areas generally try to downplay crime so as not to affect the flow of visitors.

However, residents have been complaining about the lack of police and the lack of a police station in emails to A.M. Costa Rica.

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