This Monday, November 17, officials of the Municipality of Nicoya entered their offices in the morning with feelings of helplessness, uncertainty and insecurity due to the forced entry of thieves into the premises of the old municipal council building.
The office of women, the human resources department and the department of environmental management were the offices affected.
Apparently the people entered through the back side of the building through one of the office windows of the department of environmental management. The thieves cut the iron bars, forced the window open and, once inside, stole one of the department’s laptops, two global positioning (GPS) devices, a laser beam measuring tool, two digital cameras and a copy of the key of an office vehicle.
They also forced open the back door of the building that goes to parking lot and tore off one of the office boards.
Added to this, the individuals broke into the human resources area and the office of women, where they took the laptop of one of the officials.
Photo by Wilberth Villalobos - Although the file cabinets in the human resources department were opened, apparently no documents were stolen.
They Were Looking for Documents
In addition to the theft of technological equipment, searching for official documentation was a common factor in the criminal entry in all of the municipal offices because in every office the filing cabinets were broken into and looked through.
Such is the case in the human resources office, where filing cabinets were knocked over and some of the drawers where documents, archives and papers are kept were broken.
Olga Diaz Gonzalez, an official of the department, related that she arrived at the office at about 7 a.m., when she found the door open and all of the documents on the floor.
“The first thing I saw was the open files, forced into, and the keys that open them on the floor,” the official explained. In addition, at the scene, a metal rod was found, which seems to have been used to force entry to the premises.
Photo by Wilberth Villalobos - The door to the office of human resources was also forced open.
“In 27 years of being here [working in the municipality], this is the first that this has happened. This place is not safe anymore,” affirmed Diaz.
For her part, Leslie Marchena, in charge of the office of women, said, “I arrived at about 8 a.m. and they had forced the lock, and the first thing I saw was that the laptop wasn’t there anymore and also they had opened the files.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Fernandez, head of the department of environmental management, externalized her concern since her office was the hardest hit by the thieves.
“They took a laptop, two GPS devices, a laser beam measuring tool, two digital cameras and the key to an office vehicle,” Fernandez said.
The official clarified that the vehicle was not stolen and is at the municipality; however, the abrupt manner in which the thieves rifled through the documents worried her and she stated that they even reviewed the department’s digital database.
“We still can’t be sure of anything and we know that the investigation is underway, but we realized that someone got into the municipal system and performed a search for information on one of the computers,” Fernandez explained.
The official indicated that the history of the computer showed that the municipal system was entered on Saturday night, so the crime probably took place that day.
“I feel that they came here looking for some document. To me, this is a violation of the privacy of everyone who works here. I feel a lot of mistrust,” Fernandez commented.
The case is in the hands of officials of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), who came to inspect the offices and make the respective inquiries.
For his part, Mayor Marco Jimenez showed dismay over what happened and explained that they will strengthen security in the council building and will install security cameras in different areas of the building.
Photo by Wilberth Villalobos - The metal rod with which doors were forced open was found in the human resources office as well as the keys with which the file cabinets were opened.