Police investigators. / SUR

This is why you should never leave your house keys in the car when it is parked

National Police officers are investigating thefts from homes on the coast after thieves broke into the owner's vehicles while they were parked at leisure attractions

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / FERNANDO TORRES

Police in Malaga are investigating thefts from two homes, while the families were away enjoying a day at a leisure park and, on both occasions, the robbers had gained access with keys that the victims had left in the parked vehicles at the attractions.

One of the families had visited the Isla Mágica in Seville, while the other travelled to Aquasierra, which is in Cordoba province.

Due to the similar 'modus operandi', National Police officers are linking the two cases.

The victims suffered doubly - not only with damage to their vehicles when they were broken into in the car parks, but also when they returned to their homes, some hours later, to find they had been burgled.

The police investigation suggests that the thieves forced the locks of several vehicle in the car parks at the leisure attractions until they found what they were looking for: cars in which their owners had left their house keys, as well as personal documentation or vehicle papers, where the owner's address could be found.

Armed with the keys and the address, the thieves headed to the selected homes where they stole cash, jewellery and electronic devices.

According to the National Police, the thieves count on the fact that the families will spend the whole day at the entertainment park, so they know that they have several hours until the victims return to the car and find out that something is wrong. In fact, Antonio Ruiz from the force, says that because valuables are also stolen from the vehicles – as well as the keys – the victims often do not suspect for one moment that their homes may also have been burgled.

National Police investigators have been struck by the great mobility of this gang, moving from province to province, something that they have not encountered until now.

«Yes, we have had cases in which a car was broken into in Malaga and a theft occurred within the province, but never so many kilometres away,» says head of the force's robberies branch, Antonio Ruiz.

In June 2019, the National Police smashed a group that operated along the Costa del Sol in this way. Seven people were arrested, and officers attributed a dozen house robberies and 26 car robberies to the gang.

Antonio Ruiz insists on the importance of not leaving house keys in cars. «Once, when we were interviewing a thief, he confessed to us that out of every ten cars he opened, three had documents inside with the victim's personal data and address, as well as the keys to their home.»