The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said Monday that in the first four months of 2016 some 16,702 cell telephones or other mobile devices were reported stolen or lost by its customers. A communications company official said that the number was smaller than in 2015.
The cell telephone is a favorite of street robbers, and there have been videos on television channels showing men with guns pulling up to bus shelters and relieving those there of their cell telephones.
The state communications company does not have a monopoly, so the total number of lost and stolen telephones is bound to be higher when customers of the private firms are considered.
There are some cell telephone purchasers who are open 24 hours a day in order to buy cell telephones from those who happen to have extras.
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad urged those who lose a cell telephone to make a report and consider ways to make the device inoperable.