THE Guardia Civil have arrested 15 members of a gang that staged 30 shop robberies in San Javier and Los Alcazares.

Four of the gang leaders were jailed by a San Javier court with the investigation- which started last April- still active.

Most of the group members had extensive criminal records and lived locally, as well as in Alicante Province.

They were divided into sections with different members planning and executing the robberies.

Knives were used in some cases to intimidate shop owners and staff.

Robberies were staged shortly before businesses closed so that the day’s takings could be stolen as well as relying on the cover of night to flee unnoticed.

Stolen items were then sold off at bargain prices on the black market.

Considerable damage was caused to stores with broken windows and doors.

The Guardia Civil recovered several stolen vehicles plus a safe, electrical appliances, cash, bags, and wallets- all of which have been returned to their owners.

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