A distraction robbery gang that stole from elderly people who made bank withdrawals in the Valencia and Murcia regions has been arrested by the Guardia Civil.

Operation Mugger was launched after a victim was robbed outside a bank in Batera.

Up to two gang members ramped up bank surveillance on pension collection days to identify possible robbery targets.

Earpieces and communications gear hidden in clothing were used to relay details about a potential victim for other members of the crew to approach.

The elderly bank user would be distracted by somebody seeking information while a colleague then snatched the cash.

The criminals operated in Valencia Province in Buñol, Betera, Riola, and Valencia City, plus Burriana in Castellon Province, and further south in San Pedro del Pinatar and Yecla in the Murcia region.

Two Colombian nationals have been detained and arrest warrants issued against two others.

They moved around Spain using bogus Columbian identity documents making it difficult for the police to identify and locate them.

The robbers came unstuck when they went into a bank in Betera and were spotted behaving suspiciously on a live security video feed being monitored by a Betera Policia Local officer.

He saw them wearing caps to keep identification difficult and saw them communicating via earpieces ahead of a possible new robbery.

The Guardia Civil was alerted as the men left the bank and walked towards the subway, removing their caps, glasses, and face masks on the move.

Officers were able to intercept and arrest them.

The number of robberies and the total amount of money stolen has not been revealed.


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