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.
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).
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