Three masked invaders armed with automatic weapons hog-tied the only guard protecting the OsaMunicipality in the Southern Zone before breaking in and stealing 16 computers and a vehicle Oct. 4.
The invaders left behind hordes of valuable equipment, including monitors, printers and digital cameras, which has led investigators and the Osa mayor to suspect they were going after information.
“They took all the information we have about the Maritime Zone,” said Osa Mayor Jorge Alberto Cole. “There has to be someone here with interests in the Maritime Zone who wants to erase evidence.”
Osa’s coastal Maritime Zone has recently been flooded with foreign development, and some projects have been under scrutiny by the government (TT, Aug. 10).
About $100,000 of equipment was stolen, including computer processors and the Maritime Zone department’s pickup truck. Cole said the municipality has all the information backed up.
Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) agent Evelyn Picado said the suspects showed up around 9 p.m. and tied the guard’s hands and feet, stuffed a piece of cloth in his mouth and locked him in the Municipal Council’s bathroom.
The suspects used the guard’s key to enter the building. They were wearing gloves and it appears they left no physical evidence, according to Picado.
The guard freed himself two hours later. The entire Osa OIJ force of three agents is working on the case. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the break-in is related to ongoing squatting cases in the area.