A Murcia robbery gang who used stolen cars to ram tobacco store windows has been brought down in a joint Guardia Civil-Policia Nacional operation.

Eight people have been arrested, all Spaniards aged between 30 and 40 years, over a series of so-called ‘moon-landing’ heists that involve vehicles driving into shop fronts.

The gang is accused of committing 85 crimes, with the final number expected to be well into three figures.

Morning Raid
EARLY MORNING SURPRISE FOR GANG MEMBER

A big rise in tobacco shop robberies since October, mainly in Murcia, led to the formation of a special task force to bring down the perpetrators.

Officers had their suspicions as who was behind the crime wave.

Five of the gang had a criminal record that added up to 155 arrests over the last 22 years.

The crooks also hopped over the Murcia border to strike in the Albacete, Alicante, and Almeria areas.

The pattern was the same with police logging an increasing catalogue of tobacco store robberies.

They all started with up to two stolen vehicles ramming the front window to gain access to the premises.

If store owners happened to be around, gang members did not hesitate to assault them.

The key to the police probe was a violent night-time home robbery in Murcia, which led to some immediate arrests..

That led to five house searches in Murcia, Molina de Segura, Archena, Algaida and Almendricos with gear discovered that was used in the tobacco store robberies.

Police are continuing to investigate other potential crimes committed by the gang.

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