POLICE in Benalmadena have brought down a criminal group accused of burgling more than 20 houses in Marbella.
The gang, who were forcing their way into homes, were brought to justice after police identified three members, arresting two Algerian men, aged 22 and 41, for robbery using force, car theft, crimes against road safety and assaulting a police officer. The investigation remains open as officers try to find the third member.
The police have now recovered several of the stolen items and returned them to their owners after beginning their investigation in July when a spate of burglaries in which jewellery, money, handbags and glasses were stolen, was reported in residential areas of Marbella.
Police say the gang each had a specific role, including a look-out, with others forcing entry into the properties. On being found, officers say one of the gang tried to run over an agent.
The news comes after Local Police in Torremolinos last month arrested a group of five Spanish and Colombian thieves who had been targeting tourists.
The alleged criminals were found with a bag containing several mobile phones and memory cards as well as a wallet.
The ring was brought down after police were approached by the owner of a tobacconist on the El Bajondillo promenade who said his shop’s CCTV cameras had caught the five mugging an individual for their mobile. According to media reports, the images showed alleged thieves “keeping watch and monitoring all customers, turning their heads on several occasions to stop people coming and going to the shop.”
Four officers looked at the tape and located the victim, a young Austrian tourist, who was staying with family at the Hotel Sol Principe. Police quickly distributed descriptions of the accused to other units and told them where they had been operating. Officers eventually found four of those shown on the tape, along with another person, 300 metres from the tobacconist, near the Los Corales beach. According to police they were “moving hastily” when officers approached them and seized mobile phones they were carrying.
After checking the identification codes of the telephones against a database they were sure they had found the ring. Four of the ring were arrested while one, who was heavily pregnant, remained in a health centre.