San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Police charge thieves with stealing government guns

The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) arrested four men this week in connection with the theft of 215 Glock 9mm pistols from a Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) warehouse in downtown San José, the daily La Nación reported.

The pistols, earmarked for use by Traffic Police and valued at approximately ₡83 million ($75,084) were spirited away from a MOPT warehouse in January. Since then, OIJ agents recovered 58 of the stolen weapons found hidden inside the walls of a house in Concepción de Alajuela, north of San José. Another 17 were recovered in Panama.

The four men arrested this week had the last names Rojas, Delgado, Pavas, Zúñiga and Madrigal. Three of the men were arrested Monday night in Torremolinos de Desamparados, Alajuelita and the Sagrada Familia districts of San José, according to the La Nación report, while the fourth was arrested Tuesday in Desamparados. Madrigal was sentenced to seven years of prison in 2007 for a home invasion, La Nación reported, and Rojas was convicted of kidnapping a 15-year-old minor in 2002.

At least 140 of the stolen pistols are still unaccounted for.

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