Gang that targeted tourist rental cars at shopping centres on the Costa del Sol is smashed

Some of the recovered property.
Some of the recovered property. / CNP
  • Police have arrested six members of the criminal gang that put some of the stolen items up for sale on the internet

National Police officers have dismantled a criminal gang on the Costa del Sol suspected of stealing items - primarily from tourist rental cars parked at shopping centres - along the coast.

Those arrested - five men between the ages of 38 and 75, of Spanish and Algerian nationality and a 22-year-old woman of Spanish nationality - are charged with theft by force, receiving stolen goods and belonging to a criminal organisation.

While several members stole valuables from inside the vehicles, others put the items up for sale on internet platforms.

In addition, the gang had a network to export stolen goods to Morocco, via Ceuta and Melilla.

Police have recovered 4,320 euros in cash, 25 suitcases with clothes and belongings, 38 cameras, 45 electronic tablets, computer equipment, two electric bicycles, a car, a van and a motorcycle.

It is claimed that the organised gang was based in Malaga and Torremolinos and operated mainly in the car parks of shopping centres in the province. Their modus operandi was always the same, they stole from inside parked vehicles either by breaking the glass or forcing the doors open.

Police investigations determined that the gang focused on tourists in rental vehicles.

The police operation began in the summer of last year and officers have been able to locate most of the addresses and storage rooms that the gang used to hide the stolen goods.

A total of 19 robberies have been uncovered - mostly in Malaga, Torremolinos and Fuengirola, except for one that happened in Granada.

Some of the recovered goods have already been identified by the victims and have been returned to them.

The case is now in the hands of the court.