On Friday, May 10 the Tourist Police in Guiones received two new motorcycles to patrol the area better, as well as the introduction of four English-speaking officers.
According to Randall Navarro Navarro, chief of the Tourist Police for Guanacaste based in Flamingo, explained that the English-speaking officers are being brought to better assist the foreigners in the community. Navarro visited Guiones to deliver the motorcycles, which have an estimated value of 3 million colones each ($6,000). The motorcycles are blue and black Honda 200ZXs and are brand new.
When asked if the new motorcycles and additional officers are a result of recent media attention due to recent robberies, Navarro said it is not related but rather the injection of additional resources have been in the works even before that because of the police’s commitment to local security.
Navarro explained that the patrol car the Guiones police previously had was in such bad condition that it couldn’t pass the technical revision and would cost about as much to repair as purchasing a new vehicle, so the decision was made to not repair it.
Kevin Salazar Mora, police chief in Guiones, related that at this point the local tourist police only had two motorcycles for transportation, one of which has high kilometers. The additional motorcycles will allow them to patrol better, especially at night when robberies are more common. He said two officers will patrol during the day and at night it will now be possible for four to patrol.
Navarro specified that with four extra officers being added, they plan to add a split shift from 12 noon until midnight so that even when shifts are changing, someone will always be on duty to attend to issues that arise.
In addition, Salazar assured that there will always be an English-speaking officer on duty in the office now with the four new officers rotating shifts. Before, they only had one officer who could speak English.
Salazar affirmed that crime and robberies have increased lately. He has been serving as chief in Guiones for six months now and said that before there was perhaps one robbery per week, but recently there have been four to five per week. He said the additional motorcycles will allow them to reinforce security.
On Friday night, the tourist police conducted an operation, patrolling around Guiones and Pelada and setting up a road checkpoint, during which everything was in order, according to Salazar. However, on Saturday, the police ran a background check on two guys and found an arrest warrant for one of them, with last names Guido Morales, for property damage and threatening with a weapon in Aguas Claras of Umpala. He was taken into custody by OIJ (Judicial Investigation police) of Nicoya, who in turn contacted OIJ of Aguas Claras.
Navarro said that at the beginning of May the police also detained two men from Cañas and were able to remove them from the area. They found some stolen items such as a television abandoned on the beach in Pelada and believe that these men may have been responsible for some of the recent robberies. Navarro assured that with increased patrolling and control efforts, they are making progress in combating crime in the area.