A BULGARIAN man was arrested for posing as a municipal worker and stealing more than 700 kilos of copper pipes from residents in Teulada, Moraira and Benissa.
The 38-year-old thief caused over €20,000 damage stealing from at least 32 homes.
The investigation, led by the ROCA team in El Verger, revealed how the man had gone to considerable lengths to disguise himself as he fooled residents – wearing a fake municipal worker uniform as he made his way around urbanisations in a white Seat Toledo.
He studied the homes from which he would steal, before jumping the gates and cutting the copper pipes without shutting the gas off – which could cause an explosion.
The thief was caught on one occasion by a home-owner, who he fooled into thinking he’d been sent to the property with a municipal works order.
After several incidents, officers were able to obtain an image of the man from a security camera at one of the urbanisations.
With the image, officers visited local scrapyards where he had been trying to sell the pipes on.
At one of the scrapyards, where the thief had sold on a considerable number of the pipes, officers were able to fully identify him from further security camera images and contacted the Bulgarian authorities, who verified his whereabouts.
The man was arrested at his home in Teulada and will be detained in prison before facing trial.