QCOSTARICA – The Municipality of Heredia will place four surveillance cameras on a section of the General Cañas highway that has registered an escalation of assaults since the end of last year.
The local government’s plan is to cover the sector that ranges from the Alfredo González Flores bridge (known as the Platina) to the bus stop west of the bridge.
A camera will also be installed on the bridge near the Pepsi facilities and another at the Convention Center.
The cameras will be monitored by the Municipal Police of Heredia, said Heredia Mayor, José Manuel Ulate.
They are high-resolution devices with a great zoom capacity, which helps to visualize details such as tattoos and rings. In addition, they allow a 360° view at a distance of up to 150 meters without losing image sharpness.
Dangers on the Autopista
The areas that will be monitored by the cameras have become dangerous for drivers and people waiting for or getting of a bus.
In these sectors, the autopista abuts a number of informal settlements, ravines and areas for easy escape by individuals or groups dedicated to the assaults.
On February 24, the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) reported that during this year at least five weekly complaints have been received for assaults on this stretch of General Cañas.
According to the authorities, the group of criminals, it is presumed, is made up of young people from a neighborhood near the highway.
The gang travels on foot to commit their misdeeds against drivers, but they also attack pedestrians at the bus stops.
According to the OIJ, the criminals place debris on the road that force drivers to stop and get out of the vehicle, becoming victims of the assault.
Authorities report that the groups work in tandem, that is two or more will actually commit the assault, then had of valuables to one or more runners.
This modus operandi made the international news when a minivan carrying an American Airlines crew being transported from their hotel in San Jose to the Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela, was the focus of an assault.
The driver of the minivan stopped to check on the strong blow (caused by debris intentionally left on the road) to the side of the vehicle.
They were 300 meters from reaching the Convention Center, only a few minutes to their final destination.
When the driver got out to check the vehicle, four individuals appeared in the dark of the night and carrying firearms and daggers, threatened and assaulted all the occupants of the van.
Several other similar incidents, without the international notoriety, have been reported. Many more most likely go unreported to police.