San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Thieves steal some 200 pistols from police warehouse

Raids executed Monday night by the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) in the Leon XIII area north of San José turned up illegally owned firearms, but none of the 215 pistols stolen early Monday morning from a Traffic Police warehouse were recovered, authorities said.

The four raids, carried out as part of the investigation into the stolen arms netted two 9 mm handguns, the same caliber as the stolen weapons but, an OIJ spokesman confirmed, the pistols were not weapons carried off in the warehouse heist. Additionally, OIJ agents seized a .38 caliber revolver, a 12-guage shotgun and mini-Uzi submachine gun. Three Costa Rican men were arrested in the raids on suspicion of illegal possession of said firearms.

The men were transferred into the custody of the Public Security Ministry.

Authorities confirmed thieves stole more than 200 Glock 9 mm pistols from the agency’s warehouse in San José on Monday at approximately 1 a.m.

The thieves made off with 215 pistols in the late-night raid, said César Quirós, director of the Traffic Police. The Public Works and Transportation Ministry (MOPT) oversees the Traffic Police, and estimates the cost of the stolen arms at approximately ₡83 million ($75,084). The robbers left 165 pistols untouched along with bulletproof vests, police uniforms and other equipment.

Quirós said the weapons were stored temporarily in the warehouse until they could be commissioned for use by the agency.

According to a statement issued by MOPT, the security firm CSE is contracted by the ministry to provide security at the warehouse.

An investigation into the circumstances of the robbery is ongoing.

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