A ROMANIAN robbery gang has been arrested after targeting tourists parked up at service areas on the AP-7 motorway in the Valencian Community and Murcia region.

A joint operation between the Guardia Civil and the Policia Nacional was launched after a stream of reports over the summer of crimes against foreign nationals.

Four men aged between 25 and 44 were detained in Alicante City and in Carlet, with further arrests not being ruled out.

The gang have been charged with 39 crimes including theft from cars through to violent assaults against some motorists.

A police statement said the group focused on non-Spaniards as language difficulties would make them unlikely to report a crime and that they just wanted to concentrate on their holiday.

The Romanian crew used rental cars hired with fake names to hinder the police in tracking them down.

The hired vehicles followed foreign-plated cars on the AP-7 and then designated gang-members would carry out the robbery after the car they were tracking pulled in at a service area.

A police spokesman said: “The robbers had no hesitation in driving off dangerously at high speed from a crime scene and sometimes on the opposite carriageway of the motorway.”

In one instance, the getaway vehicle rammed a police car that tried to stop it.

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