A man has been arrested for stealing 70 ornaments from cemeteries in Elda and Petrer.

The metal items, which cost a total of €20,000 for families to buy, were taken from niches outside opening hours.

Ornament Thief
ELDA ARREST

The thief, 35, took the ornaments to four metal recycling businesses but because they were made of brass, he only received €200.

All of the items have been recovered and returned to their owners.

A joint Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional operation was launched to track down the culprit, after families reported the thefts.

Authorities said the robberies caused great distress to people visiting niches and discovering what had happened.

Each theft had the same modus operandi, namely the thief climbing a wall to get into the cemetery and targeting mainly brass objects.

The man, a Romanian national, was detained on April 6 but despite his prior criminal record and latest actions, he was bailed by an Elda court.

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