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Crime

Watch as 'El Chumbo', the armed man who escaped police cordon in Malaga town, is finally captured

Guardia Civil officers located the man hiding in the boot of a vehicle near a petrol station in Campillos, in the north of the province

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Thursday, 30 May 2024, 11:07

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After more than 24 hours, the manhunt for 'El Chumbo' has ended. Officers from Spain's Guardia Civil, have arrested the 37-year-old man who barricaded himself in his house in Campillos with a shotgun and who managed to escape despite the police cordon. According to sources, he was located at around 10.30pm just 200 metres from his home, located in the San Benito neighbourhood.

According to initial information, the fugitive hid himself in the boot of a vehicle. The investigators were still maintaining a presence in the vicinity of his home, suspecting that he could be hiding nearby. Despite his arrest, the Guardia Civil is keeping the investigation open, in part to clarify how he escaped and whether he obtained help from third parties.

It all started late on Monday night in Calle Campos Moreno, after the Local Police received a call because there was an individual causing a disturbance in the San Benito neighbourhood. It was 'El Chumbo', who was the subject of a search and arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in a violent robbery, as well as a restraining order against an ex-partner.

Following the resident's call, Local Police officers went to the address, where the man had taken cover in his home. Allegedly, on seeing the officers, he reacted by pulling out a sawed-off shotgun and threatening to shoot, though no shot was fired.

Given the seriousness of the situation, the Local Police called in the Guardia Civil, one of Spain's national police forces, as the individual was armed and did not obey the instructions of the officers. As a result, during the early hours of the morning, a strong police and municipal authority presence was established, who kept the area cordoned off.

A trained negotiator from the Guardia Civil tried to convince 'El Chumbo' to give himself up without success. Early on Tuesday morning, the operation was reinforced with agents from the Special Intervention Unit (UEI), who travelled from Madrid to Campillos with the aim of arresting the suspect.

After several hours deployed in San Benito, the Guardia Civil finally gained access to the home of 'El Chumbo' and found that he had escaped during the operation. As sources from the force confirmed, the shotgun was not found in the building either.

Where has he hiding?

The escape of José Antonio 'El Chumbo' in Campillos left one obvious question and another much more enigmatic one. Where has he hiding? And, where did he go? Guardia Civil officers suspected that the man had not left the town and maintained a surveillance operation in the vicinity of his house. The operation bore fruit late on Wednesday, when he was arrested.

The fugitive, aged 37, reportedly escaped from inside his home while the Local Police, first, and the Guardia Civil, later, maintained a siege around the house under the belief that he was inside and barricaded with a shotgun.

The escape was confirmed at mid-morning on Tuesday 28 May, when heavily armed Guardia Civil entered the house to detain the suspect after 13 hours of confinement without much contact.

One of the hypotheses is that 'El Chumbo' escaped through a kind of attic in the house and slipped into one of the adjoining houses, taking advantage of a change of shift among the officers or the around the time of the departure of his mother, who was never held hostage and who left the building of her own free will during the early hours of the morning, leaving her son inside.

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