AN Alicante man used an abandoned factory as a base to collect money from children that he violently threatened.

The Guardia Civil have arrested the 20-year-old on two counts of robbery with violence and intimidation.

The Alicante resident cycled daily to the empty premises in San Vicente del Raspeig to meet his pre-selected victims, who were boys aged under 14.

In one incident a boy was in a park when the man approached him and asked to use his mobile phone.

The boy refused but said that if needed to make a call, then he could dial a number for him and put the call through on the speaker.

The youngster heard the conversation where the man demanded another boy meet him in San Vicente.

After the call ended, the man threatened the phone owner with a knife and demanded all of his money.

He took the cash and ran off.

Two days later he called the victim and told him to go with €20 to the San Vicente factory.

After the exchange, he said the demands would continue on a regular basis.

He even concocted a special code to be sent in a text message, where the youngster would have to arrive within 20 minutes with €20.

The boy reported him to the Guardia Civil who then received a second complaint.

Another child said his phone was stolen at the San Vicente factory and he was assaulted with a brick.

The Guardia believe there are other victims who have so far been too frightened to come forward and the investigation remains open.

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