FOUR members of a Costa Blanca and Murcia-based gang have been jailed over 35 robberies in five Spanish provinces.

The seven-strong crew, with previous arrests for identical crimes, were described as a ‘highly specialised criminal group’.

Seven simultaneous raids on addresses were executed by the Guardia Civil in Bigastro, Jacarilla, Murcia City, Orihuela, Redovan, and San Javier.

MORNING RAID

Besides local robberies, the thieves struck further afield at homes and businesses in Albacete, Almeria, and Jaen provinces.

Stolen goods were taken to the gang’s Murcia base.

GOODS GALORE IN MURCIA

The Guardia Civil recovered eight stolen cars; computer equipment; jewellery; watches; bicycles; electric scooters; clothes; and domestic appliances.

Most of the items have been returned to their rightful owners.

The Guardia launched Operation Mactol in October 2021 after a robbery in Orihuela.

Investigations identified that a group was behind a string of break-ins across the area.

The gang was led by a 47-year-old Algerian national who organised the logistics behind each robbery and disposed of the stolen items via the ‘black market’.

A 48-year-old Spaniard was in charge of all the transport to the targeted locations using stolen cars to ferry the robbers.

Five Moroccan men, aged between 23 and 43, executed the actual crimes.

The thieves split up into sub-groups and changed home addresses and used stolen vehicles to make it harder for the Guardia Civil to track them down.

An Orihuela court imprisoned four of the gang, including the leader, with the other three crew members released on bail.

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