A man and woman have been arrested after robbing 55 Benidorm hotel rooms since July.

They have also been charged with possessing fake documents and fraud.

They were said to be part of an Algerian gang targeting Costa Blanca towns in crime blitzes before moving on to another location.

The man- said to be the gang leader- was jailed.

The level of the hotel break-ins was so high that the Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional launched a joint operation to catch the perpetrators.

Hotel robbery reports leapt up in July as gang members mingled around large numbers of guests during the day to access rooms and commit thefts.

They often walked around in bathing gear to suggest they were staying in the premises.

The thieves used tools to lever doors open or even the ‘slip’ method by using a plastic card to slide down any locking systems.

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BREAK-IN GEAR

Personal valuables were stolen and safes forced open.

In some cases, a safe was simply packed into a large suitcase and the robbers just calmly walked out past the hotel reception area.

A large deployment of police officers carried out surveillance in most key Benidorm hotels.

The move paid off as two of the gang members, including the leader, were caught red-handed committing a robbery in a city centre hotel.

Equipment such as plastic cards, screwdrivers and gloves were seized and some of the stolen items were subsequently discovered.

Police are still looking for other gang members.

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