A DUO who specialised in stealing empty properties along the Costa del Sol were caught ‘red handed’ by the police. 

Officers said the pair were part of a cell for one of the most active gangs in Europe that specialise in raiding high end properties.

The women, aged 20 and 26, were caught after they tried to swipe belongings from a home in La Barriguilla, in the western area of Malaga city.

Following a spate of breakins across Torremolinos and Malaga police are convinced the pair have been working together using the ‘slip method. 

The crooks first check that the residents are not home and then use screwdrivers or pieces of plastic between the frame and the door to gain entry. 

Police said that the pair were not based in Malaga but travelled through the country, operating four or five days in a location and then moving to a different area. 

They also revealed that the women, both from Croatia, regularly changed their physical appearance to avoid being detected.

The National Police said they caught the thieves  ‘red-handed’ on 5 June following a break-in at a home in La Barriguilla. 

The police have also connected the pair with seven break-ins on the Costa del Sol, as well as another in Madrid.

Officers said that the women belonged to a criminal organisation dedicated to recruiting young, female Croats, between 18 and 30 years old, that trained them in house break-in techniques and counter-surveillance measures in their home country.

Once the training is finished, the cell moves to other European countries together with a male member of the gang, who is in charge of them.

The loot seized is then sent back to Croatia through money transfer companies or, if the item is of particularly high value,  the gang member will smuggle it into Croatia during visits home.

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