Man arrested on suspicion of 16 robberies

Judicial investigators apprehended a man Thursday and said he was the suspect in 16 of those window-breaking robberies that plague female motorists on the Circunvalación in Hatillo.

Unlike the usual juvenile suspects, the man who was detained is 30, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents detained him in a raid at his home in Hatillo 8. They said they confiscated purses, cell telephones and other items to be used as evidence.

Agents were investigating a string of robberies that usually took place between 6 and 9 p.m. since September. There are traffic lights on the six-lane highway in Hatillo, and accomplices spot female motorists alone in their vehicles and set them up for the window-breakers.

When the vehicle stops, the crook breaks the passenger side or back window with a rock or some other object, reaches in and takes what is there, usually purses or briefcases.

The robbery gangs prefer to target women because they usually leave purses on the passenger seat and because they are less likely to pursue the bandits.

Within the last week, television news shows played a video taken by a motorist in a car behind a victim. The video clearly showed the face of a man breaking a window, grabbing something and fleeing. Agents did not relate the arrest with the video.

Police have been challenged to prevent these types of crimes. There are three stoplights in the Hatillo area, and each produces long lines of vehicles backed up during rush hours. In addition, the courts usually treat these offenders lightly. And many are juveniles.

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