TWO British expats have been accused of running a Torrevieja-based operation that stole 21 bikes and mopeds from across the Vega Baja and Murcia areas.
A 22-year-old man and his 42-year-old mother were arrested by the Guardia Civil last November, with the British man detained a second time in early February, along with an 18-year-old Belgian national.
A 45-year-old Spanish woman and two minors are being investigated for selling the stolen items on the black market.
Inquiries started in November after there was a rise in bike and moped thefts in the Vega Baja area.
The Guardia said they carried out some ‘complex analytical work’ which led them to focus on the 22-year-old Brit who lived in Torrevieja.
Officers monitored his family home and saw a large number of young people accessing and leaving the house with bikes.
A search was carried out last November when the suspect was detained along with his mother.
She provided him with logistical support for the thefts in Alicante, Elche, Guardamar, Murcia, Orihuela, Santa Pola, and Torrevieja.
11 stolen motorcycles were removed along with car parts, licence plates, and documents.
A second phase of the Guardia probe in February recovered a further 10 bikes, as well as the additional arrest of the Belgian teenager plus the identification of the black market sellers.
Some of the arrested trio have an existing police record and they’ve been charged with a total of 35 robberies.
All of the stolen bikes have been returned to their rightful owners.