I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

People taking protecting themselves against bandits•criminals into their own hands in Costa Rica - the story of a Home Invasion in el Rodeo•Ciudad Colon

IN THE PAST • prior to moving to Costa Rica, I was VERY AGAINST Vigilante Justice - people taking protecting themselves into their own hands - especially when it comes to guns (#1 because TOOOOOO often those guns get turned against the protectee and worse can happen like killing people [even the banditos] that didn't need to die).

But sadly, my thoughts on this have changed out of compassion for the people that have had crimes happen to them in Costa Rica, because, based on so far ALL the comments/shared stories I've received from EVERYONE I've known/that's shared their story with me, not one of the bandits have been brought to justice/spent a fair amount of (or ANY) time in jail based on the crime - heck - literally hardly ANY of their criminals have even been caught!!!!!!  So I can UNDERSTAND the frustration people are going through and WHY they are getting guns to protect themselves.

Below is a GREAT EXAMPLE of how a COMMUNITY (in el Rodeo•Ciudad Colon) got creative and ORGANIZED and came together to help one of theirs and overall it worked (though the "good guys" did get shot at which SOOOO OFTEN happens when people RESIST the banditos [so far ALL the people I've known/heard about that got shot or hurt in some way resisted and THIS is something I am VERY MUCH AGAINST!!!  So it's a double edged sword and IS your life worth the risk????]).

More and more we're hearing of these HOME INVASIONS happening in NON-extravagant • NOT big expensive houses of the wealthy. The owner said he lived in a "rustic finca."

Have YOU been a "victim" of a crime in Costa Rica?  What happened to YOU?  What do YOU think of how this went down?

I REALLY hope that A.M. Costa Rica follows this story and reports what happens to these banditos!!!!!!!!!


Plenty of heroes in Ciudad Colón home invasion case

AMCostaRica.com  July 16, 2013

Bandits who tried to invade the home of expats near Ciudad Colón Saturday ending up with their own nightmare.

• 1 bandit suffered a bullet wound from the expat's gun.

• 1 abducted a domestic employee who ended up beating him with a stick just before one of the expat's employees ran over him with a vehicle just before El Rodeo residents arrived to give him a thrashing.

• 2 who abducted the expat's wife ran into a police roadblock, thanks to security preparations by the community.

• All 3 were arrested, and all have extensive police records, according to the Fuerza Pública.

The expats are Gerry and Victoria Kirk, who live on a 45-hectare finca west of the University for Peace. He is the retired managing director of  Merck, Sharp & Dohme for Central and South America. He is a London native, and his wife is from Michigan.

Kirk characterized the masked bandits, who may have numbered as much as five, as stupid. He said there is little in his home worth stealing. And there is only one exit from the road to his home. He spoke by telephone Monday night after being treated for a bullet wound in Hospital CIMA.

His wife also suffered injuries, including bruises, when the fleeing duo threw her from the getaway car as police closed in.

He said the assailants were seen in the small village of El Rodeo where they stopped to purchase chicken before the crime. They used the meat to poison the family's dogs. Two dogs later died, and at least two more are sick.

The dogs acting up are what aroused the couple and a domestic employee who lives nearby just after dinner time. One of the dogs, a beagle, was seen trembling. Kirk went to find flashlights and his .38-caliber weapon, and the two women walked to where the dogs were making noise. Kirk said they were expecting to see some kind of animal and did not envision intruders.

That opinion changed rapidly when one of the intruders inexplicably fired a shot. When Kirk reached the outside of the home, he saw the women on the ground and just silhouettes in the dark, he said. He shouted to warn the intruders away, and a silhouettes began firing at him.

Kirk said he fired back and then took a bullet in the fleshy part of the left chest. The bullet then passed through his left arm. He withdrew behind a wall, and the intruder continued to fire.

3 or 4 bullets impacted on the wall, he said.

"I was bleeding like a stuck pig," he said.

The armed expat appears to have disrupted the intruders' plan, and they fled. They forced the women at gunpoint to accompany them. Ms. Kirk was led to a car. The domestic employee, Janet Argujo, was led away by a wounded man who was fleeing on foot.

Kirk said that he has been a member of the community's security committee. One of the projects was to install a siren in the village of El Rodeo. One of Kirk's employees caused the siren to sound, so the entire village knew from the tone that an invasion was taking place, he said.

What followed was a community effort that included residents and Kirk's employees The siren also alerted police, who blocked the main road.

Mounted on motorcycles, in cars or on foot, the residents set out with machetes and other weapons to catch the crooks. That is why when Ms. Argujo started hitting the man, later identified by the Fuerza Pública by the last name of  Del Palacio, the man emerged to a roadway only to be run over by a vehicle driving by José Parra. one of Kirk's employees. Then the village residents caught up with the man and administered rough justice.

Police said that Del Palacio had been detained 20 times for allegations of robbery, aggravated theft, rape, assault, attempted murder, and robbery with violence.

Kirk said that his wife was thankful that the fleeing duo slowed down before throwing her from their car. The two suspects detained at the roadblock have the last names of Álvarez Alvarado and Lacayo Lacayo, said the Fuerza Pública.

Álvarez has been detained for aggravated robbery, faking documents, receiving stolen goods, drug trafficking and international drug trafficking.  Lacayo has been detained for illegal possession of firearms, resisting arrest and drug use, said the Fuerza Pública.

Kirk was in unexpected good humor when he spoke Monday night. He said the intruder's bullet just missed a lung as it passed through his chest. He admits to being very lucky.

There may have been as many as 5 persons, including a driver who stayed with the crooks' car.

About all the intruders could steal would be some of the orange crop, Kirk said, calling his home a rustic finca.

But he agreed that the crooks may have targeted the home because it was isolated and occupied by expats.

"They underestimated the village," he said, adding that the real heroes in this case were the villagers and his employees.

Kirk said he has been around firearms all his life and even had given gun training to his wife and employees.

At least some of the intruders appeared to be high on drugs.