GUARDIA CIVIL officers from Alicante have detained a fifty eight year old man suspected of stealing around 350,000 euros during a string of armed robberies from banks throughout the Alicante and Murcia regions over the past four years.
The revolvers recovered from the suspect were Smith and Wesson 357 Magnum’s as used by Clint Eastwood in the movie ‘Dirty Harry’, famous for it’s long cannon and large velocity.
He and his partner and accomplice, a 48 year old woman, who was also detained were arrested in Hondon del los Frailes, last week after being on the police wanted list since 2013.
When arrested, the couple were in possession of two firearms, three boxes of compatible ammunition, some 50,000 euros in cash, and hoods to cover the head whilst conducting the thefts.
The banks where the armed robberies took place were El Siscar, and El Raa in the Murcia region.
Whilst in Alicante the thefts were committed in Granja de Rocamora, Monforte del Cid, Raiguero de Bonanza, Sax, and La Murada,
The proceeds from the final robbery in La Murada, the last of their activities was almost 80,000 euros.
The suspects were known to have spent many weeks watching and observing the activities of the bank branches they identified.
His modus operandi was always the same, he entered the branch office and engaged in conversation with an employee.
During the conversation, he calmly took the weapon out and threatened the clerk by pointing and demanding the money often requesting the bank teller tie the money with plastic tags.
Most of the robberies were conducted without a hood and bank staff who witnessed the armed thefts were particularly intimidated by his calm demeanour and the way he tapped the revolver on his knee whilst they prepared the cash for him.
He targeted quiet bank branches in small villages and out of the way locations, with little traffic and always changed his appearance between the thefts.
During the robberies he wore long hair and beard and a thick pair of glasses, after which he would shave hair and face and remove the glasses, to avoid identification by police.
He worked in a greengrocers shop in the village of Hondon de los Frailes, where no one suspected his other life.
The suspect had spent previous time in prison for theft, which police believe gave him the information he needed to conduct the robberies, whilst his father had also served time in prison for similar crimes.
At the time of their arrest, they had over 50,000 euros that police believe were stolen only 48 hours before from a bank in the town of La Murada.
The two revolvers used for the robberies, and diverse clothes used in them were found at the couple’s home later.
After their arrest, the man was detained in custody without bail, whilst the woman was released on probation.