2 Apr, 2019 @ 12:59
1 min read

GREEDY SAMARITANS: criminal gang who slashed tourists’ tyres at toll booths along Costa Blanca and then robbed them finally arrested

TYRANNY: The gang of six would slash tyres of unwitting tourists at toll booths

TYRE slashers who targeted tourists’ vehicles along the Costa Blanca and then robbed them while pretending to help have been arrested by Police in Catalonia.

Six men, of Serbian and Kosovar origin, were arrested in four locations near Tarragona last week for allegedly robbing foreigners on the AP-7 motorway between La Jonquera, in northern Catalonia, right down to Murcia.

The perpetrators would slash the tyres of tourists’ cars at toll booths, follow the drivers as they pulled over, and then sickeningly pose as Good Samaritans before thieving cash, jewellery and mobile phones.

“They chose mainly victims of foreign origin, because of the large amounts of money they usually carry as they come on vacation,” a spokesperson for Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalonian police force, said.

During dawn raids at Reus, Ametlla de Mar, Hospitalet de l’Infant and Miami Platja, more than 100 officers recovered €25,000 in cash, expensive jewellery, electronic devices and a firearm.

The criminal gang have been linked to 30 crimes in the past five months, though investigators estimate the crimes could be in the ‘hundreds’.

Police also believe the profits could exceed €50,000.

HYPOCRITES: The gang, who worked in groups of three, would distract foreigners while another member robbed them

After investigation into the highly-organised operation began last year, Mossos investigators were aided by access to security cameras operated by Abertis, who operate toll booths along the AP-7.

The six arrested face 22 crimes of robbery, six crimes of minor damage, seven crimes against traffic safety, two crimes of robbery with violence and intimidation, two crimes of unlawful appropriation of a vehicle, one crime of theft with force, seven crimes of driving without having ever obtained the driver’s license, as well as belonging to a criminal group, amongst others.

The alleged criminals used fake ID documents to rent cars as they travelled in groups of three.

They appeared in court last Wednesday (March 27).

Have you been affected by crimes in this article? Don’t hesitate to contact the Olive Press on +34 951 273 575.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: joshua@theolivepress.es or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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