AN Elche nursing home under COVID-19 quarantine measures was broken into four times by the same teenage thief over 17 days.

The Policia Nacional launched a surveillance operation to trap the 19-year-old burglar who gained entry by scrambling over a two-metre fence.

Authorities said that they were seriously concerned that the male teenager could have infected residents with the coronavirus due to his reckless action.

A Policia Nacional spokesman said: “This investigation was of particular importance not just because of the taking of personal items, but especially about the risk of virus being transmitted to the elderly residents.”

Agents caught the suspect with a bag and a mobile phone stolen from the unnamed home after analysing CCTV footage.

The thief’s biometric features produced a match with somebody who lived close by and he had an existing criminal record.

A visit to his home uncovered the pilfered items and he was arrested for committing a burglary.

The capture of the criminal has led to trouble for the owner of the stolen mobile phone.

She has been accused of filing a false police report for insurance purposes.

She claimed it had been stolen from inside the nursing home by three people who threatened her with a knife.

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