THEY targeted some of Spain’s top restaurants leading to them being dubbed the Gastro Gang.
But the crime spree has come to an end after a group of thieves were caught by police.
The gang broke into a string of three-starred Michelin restaurants belonging to world-renowned chefs including Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana and Martin Berasategui.
Police said the gang – of eastern European origin – disabled alarms and entered through walls, doors or windows.
Cars were hired using false documents, or brought under false names.
Arzak in San Sebastian – currently ranked as the world’s eighth best restaurant – was targeted in July, with only a small amount of money being taken, while Berasategui’s self-named eatery in Lasarte-Oria, another of the world’s top 50 restaurants, also had cash taken.
Subijana’s Akelarre restaurant was ransacked six weeks ago.
“They had all the equipment and plenty of experience,” said Subijana.
“I am surprised they caught them, as I didn’t hold out much hope.”
The well-organised gang, who were living in Torrevieja, targeted several other restaurants as well as warehouses and are understood to have had safehouses in Madrid.