TORREVIEJA Guardia Civil has arrested a gang of 14 allegedly involved in bag snatches to fund their drug habits.
In two separate operations, dealers were arrested first, then addicts who stole to buy the drugs.
Reports of a family clan were brought to light last year, and subsequent surveillance found what police describe as, ‘a family and their accomplices [that] were extremely violent with those who owed money for drugs’.
Late-paying ‘clients’ were often beaten and threatened with a large knife.
After part one of the operation in December, police seized 22 mobile phones, two laptops, three tablets, a stereo, two video game consoles, a simulated pellet gun, two televisions and €5,000 bicycle.
As stolen goods were traced back to their owners, police uncovered a trail of criminality also related to the family and their associates.
In all, arrests were made for 12 crimes of theft, two robberies with violence, three robberies with force, one crime against public health and a crime of belonging to a criminal group.
Consisting of Algerians, Moroccans and Spanish, the rest of the network was arrested last month and nearly all of the objects have been returned to their owners.