COSTA RICA NEWS — Tuesday night, officials of the Policia Municipal de San José (municipal police) said they removed an obstruction that hindered drivers in the vicinity of Gloria Bejarano, a border community between San José and Tibás.
The warning is that criminals are using this deceptive method, of placing an obstruction in the roadway, to get drivers to step out of their vehicles, to be held up at gunpoint (bajonazo in Spanish).
Marcelo Solano, chief of the municipal police, said they have yet to encounter his method in the downtown area of San José, but have had reports from the outer areas of downtown.
Authorities recommend not to get out of the vehicle, not to stop to remove the obstruction, but rather to turn around and away from the area.
“Sometimes they are not structures, rather nails and other objects that could puncture the tire, so the recommendation is the same, especially in a secluded or dark area, treat is as a malicious and continue to a point of relative safety,” said Solano.
The police chief added that these types of barricades have been reported in areas like the Hatillos and Pavas (southwest and west side of San Jose).
Authorities recommend drivers to call 9-1-1 is they spot an object on the road, to let police arrive and remove it.
Ploys to get our out of your vehicle are not limited to blocking paths, it could be a partially inflated tire or placing an object to cause a strange sound while driving. Avoind arking your vehicle in the wrong spot, like on the street, or the wrong parking lot.
Always do a walk around your vehicle, don’t drive off with a low inflated tire, especially if tubeless, it could easily come off the time and go flat.
If you do get a flat or hear a strange sound, it’s the middle of the night, in a “bad” area, keep driving until you can ‘safely’ stop. You can always replace the rims, the damaged car parts.
If you feel you are being pursued, drive to the nearer open public place, a hospital, red cross or fire station, gas station – any place that there are ligths and people and maybe a security guard to scare off your followers. A police station is always best.