A woman, 29, wanted over the theft of €20,000 watch in a hugging robbery in Malaga Province, has been arrested by the Guardia Civil on the Costa Blanca.

The Romanian national is said to have an extensive criminal record and is also wanted for offences in Italy.

Despite the charge sheet and previous convictions, the serial thief was granted bail after appearing in a Denia court.

The woman specialised in hugging robberies and was recognised by Guardia officers in Calpe, who had previously arrested her in 2020.

She was part of a group who approached mainly elderly people in the street and would stop them to ask a question like over directions.

She or a co-robber would embrace the target in a hug and wrench a valuable item like a watch or jewellery off their victim before running away.

A Guardia patrol in Calpe spotted the thief walking towards two motorhomes, with foreign licence plates, parked up in an isolated area.

She refused to stop for the officers and tried to flee the scene at high speed, before being apprehended.

A police database check revealed that she was the subject of a Policia Nacional arrest warrant from Fuengirola in Malaga Province over the theft of a luxury watch valued at over €20,000.

An international arrest warrant had also been issued by the Italian authorities over an undisclosed offence.

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