A HOME robbery gang has been charged with committing 101 burglaries across the Valencian Community and Murcia.
Nearly 100 items of jewellery and watches have been recovered in a joint operation conducted by the Guardia Civil and the Policia Nacional.
Seven people- six of them of Moldovan nationals and the other from Romania- would send the stolen loot back to Moldova after confirming that the items were valuable.
All bar one of the detainees have been imprisoned by an Ibi court and have also been charged with money laundering and forging documents.
The gang were based in four rental homes in El Campello and Alicante and carried out the robberies in rural areas after researching potential targets and carefully planning out escape routes in case they were surprised by the police.
The robberies took place in Ondara, Pego, Benissa, Canals, Aspe, Sax, Villena, Ibi, Banyeres de Mariola, Caudete, Yecla, Javea, Moraira, Calpe, Almansa, Jumilla, Monovar and Petrer.
Two rental cars were used to travel to chosen locations- one of the vehicles acting as a ‘shuttle’ to divert the police if needed.
The crew used an array of tracking devices, beacons and frequency jammers to check that homes were uninhabited and that alarms did not go off.
When they returned home, they used a precious metal test acid kit and a gemstone tester to authenticate the stolen items before despatching them to a town in Moldova where all the gang members had some link.
Inquiries into the gang- aged between 23 and 33- started in January and its members even left Spain for a time under the suspicion that they might be under investigation.
They returned however and continued their activities until they were arrested during four police raids on November 7.
Items recovered included luxury watches and 68 pieces of gold jewellery, €4,280 in cash and banknotes from other countries.
The Guardia Civil has appealed to the public to mark valuable objects as soon as they purchased and to provide those identification details if an item is stolen, which makes it easier for investigators to return them if recovered.
During the current probe, a large machete was returned to its owner in Yecla thanks to an inscription as well as a €5,000 gold watch to a Caudete resident.
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