Police patrols were increased this summer to help prevent theft and burglaries. Sur
Summer: sun, sea and sand, thousands of tourists, and, inevitably, thieves. Every year the Costa del Sol acts as a magnet for delinquents who mingle with the holidaymakers. There are all types: from pickpockets and beach bag thieves to organised gangs that move around the country carrying out ‘jobs’ planned with utmost precision.
With burglaries being one of the biggest problems on the Costa del Sol this summer the National Police force decided to step up their resources in the area.
“When we became aware of the figures, significant reinforcements were deployed to this area in the second fortnight in August and until a few days ago”, confirmed a senior provincial police officer.
Support officers were brought in from Malaga to the western Costa del Sol, where the majority of break-ins take place, to step up “both investigation and prevention” work, collaborating with locally based forces.
It was within this special operation that police approached a vehicle behaving suspiciously in a residential area of Las Chapas, Marbella. The incident ended up in a shoot-out which resulted in one of the suspects being wounded in the back.
Concentrated in Marbella and Estepona, in the vast majority of burglaries in private homes the perpetrators did not resort to violence. However what reports have made clear is that the break-ins have been carried out by true specialists. Just last week this newspaper reported a case in a villa in San Pedro in which silent intruders got away with works of art and jewellery worth more than 200,000 euros, while the occupants were sleeping. In fact the Guadalmina area has suffered as many as four break-ins in one night.
The summer has also seen a significant increase in robberies in local businesses. One example was the attack suffered by Marbella Carpets, when an apparently organised gang got away with Persian rugs valued as some 500,000 euros.
The Provincial Police headquarters has stated that since the reinforcements were sent in there has been a reduction in reported break-ins.
“Part of our objectives have been achieved, that is, to step up prevention and deter criminals”, stressed one senior officer.
Meanwhile the president of the Malaga Association of Private Security Companies, Federico Sánchez, explained that home owners are tending to increase security measures, now that the crisis has created a situation of need in many households. This, he points out, has led to an increase in smaller break-ins in private properties. Sánchez estimates that around 100,000 properties in the province are now fitted with burglar alarms, most of them on the western Costa del Sol.