Four held as bandit gang members who targeted bank customers

Judicial agents picked up three men and a woman Tuesday and said they were the gang that has been robbing bank customers all over the country.

The robberies were violent, and four victims were shot without any warning, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The shootings took place in  Moravia, Heredia, Cartago and Curridabat, the agency said.

The woman is 53, and she with one of the three men was called the spotter. She and her associate would enter a bank as  customers and spot someone who had withdrawn a substantial sum of cash, agents alleged.

The spotters would follow the victim outside and relay the information about direction and type of clothing to two confederates on a motorcycle. They would do the robberies, agents said.

During the arrests Tuesday, agents said they found disguises, wigs and changes of clothing that were used in the crimes.

Agents said that at least 17 robberies in  Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles, Cartago, San José and Heredia are attributed to the gang. They took place from March to October last year.

A fifth member made the mistake of trying to rob a man outside the offices of the lottery agency, the Junta de Protection Social, last December. A bodyguard shot him dead, agents noted.

The arrests were made Tuesday in  Playa Ocotal in Guanacaste, Zapote, Hatillo and Higuito de Desamparados, according to the agency. Agents said they found a firearm and a large quantity of ammunition.

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