Five of the nine men who assaulted the Eurochronos in Multiplaza and Global Time jewellery stores, both in Escazu, are of Mexican origin, confirmed on Thursday the Judicial Police.
The group, of assailants entered Costa Rica days before the robberies on October 31, staying in several San Jose hotels and may have already left the country.
Wálter Espinoza, director of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), said that the thieves arrived in the country with the sole intention of committing the robberies.
“They do not have a domicile in the country. We have identified five of them. The group consists of 15 to 20 suspects, all of Mexican nationality. Once here they got the cars, bought the hammers and pellet guns since they could not obtain firearms,” said Espinoza.
The police chief added that there is a woman who may be part of the crew, accompanying the men during the purchase of cars and equipment. However, her nationality is unknown at the moment or if she took actual part in the heists.
The known suspects were identified by their last names, Perez, aged 22 and 28 (there were two with the same last name), Albirde (23), Cortes (20) and Rios (18). One of the Perez has a record in Mexico for robbery.
The OIJ confirmed the two Perez entered Costa Rica on October 25, while Albirde and Cortes a day later. Rios arrived on October 29.
The suspects left no trace in the hotels they stayed at and did not raise any suspicion among hotel staffers.
Piecing together the two events, the OIJ said the robberies occurred within 10 minutes of each other and the group did reconnaissance work during the days leading up to the heists.
“The hypothesis is that they may still be in the country, so we call on the public to alert us if they observe a large group of young men, with a Mexican accent and acting suspiciously. They are careful and aggressive people that we have to see how we can control them,” explained Espinoza.
The OIJ chief added that this is the first time the five men entered Costa Rica and they have their identification and know their movements, though at this time it is not known if they had help from Costa Ricans.
“Most of the suspects are young and male, the Mexican police do not have them identified as a criminal structure, it’s a group of Mexicans who organized themselves to come here for the heist,” added the police chief.
Espinoza said that for now there is an alert in the different borders and the airports and the that the Mexican police has been alerted as well.
The exact amount of the stolen goods is not known, as the two stores continue with an itemized inventory.