Photo Róger Soto, Diario Extra

QCOSTARICA – One of the most notorious, dangerous and elusive car thief, sentenced to 62 years in prison in 1997, survived an attack of being shot five times Tuesday morning. Rafael Tamayo Mata, 51 years of age, is in serious condition in the Hospital de Alajuela, is expected to pull through.

It was shortly after 2:00am Tuesday morning when, according to the report by the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ),  for reasons still unknown, Tamayo while driving on the road between La Garita and Atenas, in Alajuela, was intercepted by another vehicle, stopping and opening fire on him.

A passerby noticed Tamayo lying, injured on the public road and called police. The gunman or gunmen had fled. Tamayo was shot in the throat and head.

Tamayo has more than 20 years of connection with powerful criminal gangs related to vehicle theft. He has also been imprisoned in Nicaragua and Panama for crimes related to vehicle theft, yet has always managed to obtain freedom. Tamayo also has a criminal history of fraud, robbery, assault with a firearm and kidnapping.

Tamayo, a resident of Esparza de Puntarenas, has a long criminal history in the country and despite accumulating 62 years in sentences, the last one to 25 years on March 11, 2003, he obtained his freedon on March 2012, after only serving nine years of that sentence.

The Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday that Tamayo is not part of the group of prisoners recently relocated (released) to half-way houses to ease prison overcrowding.

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