A SHARP spike in home robberies has forced worried residents of Pinar de Campoverde on the southern Costa Blanca to demand action to catch the perpetrators.

It’s even reached the stage where vigilante patrols are responding to possible incidents because police are not arriving in time.

300 people attended an open air meeting on Sunday to call for more police patrols to catch the culprits.

Residents admit that some break-ins are inevitable but say things have got out of control since early November.

Home owner, Sara Henarejos Carillo, said: “There’ve been 30 robberies in the last months or so, with up to four in one night.”

The gang also wear balaclavas and dark clothing and tend to operate in the early evening when they believe homes may be empty.

Money and jewellery is targeted with claims that at ‘least four’ of the burglars live on the urbanisation.

Sara Nenarejos Carillo, who has launched an on-line petition demanding more police patrols, said they never arrive in time to catch the robbers which is causing ‘increased anger’ among property owners.

The residents association- Pinar de Campoverde Vecinos- says they now have 500 members of their ‘Theft Alert Group’.

Every time a possible intruder is spotted, the group gets a notification and volunteers go to the area, having first called the Policia Local and Guardia Civil.

They say that a number of them responded last Friday by carrying baseball bats and golf clubs to ‘foil’ three attempted robberies after security alarms went off.

Speakers at Sunday’s rally said they had ‘full confidence’ in the police but cannot sit idly by to become the next victim and called on Pilar council to step up the police presence in the area,.

Pilar’s Security councillor, Marina Saez, pleaded for ‘calm’ to allow the police to do their job, and did not recommend introducing citizen patrols.

“We are following several lines of inquiries that will hopefully bear fruit as soon as possible,” said Saez.

Pilar council has also invited the residents group to a meeting with mayor, Jose Maria Perez, along with the Policia Local and the Guardia Civil

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