Man arrested at Malaga airport with three stolen watches worth 340,000 euros

The suspect, who is accused of using violence to snatch the watches from people’s wrists in broad daylight, was about to leave the country

E.P. Malaga

Police have arrested a 34-year-old man at Malaga airport on suspicion of having attacked three people in separate incidents in Marbella and Estepona and stealing their luxury watches. He was detained as he was about to board an international flight, and had the watches in his possession.

The suspect is said to have travelled on the back of motorcycle ridden by an accomplice along the western Costa del Sol and, when he spotted somebody wearing a very expensive watch, would get off the motorbike, approach them and then, in a surprise move, grab the watch off their wrist.

Two of these incidents took place in Marbella and the other in Estepona. One was on 11 May, and on that occasion the victim of the robbery was injured by his assailant during a struggle.

The other was on 26 May, when the suspect targeted someone who was driving a convertible car and had slowed down while looking for a parking space. He told the police that a man who was unknown to him got into the car and violently tore his watch from his wrist.

On the third occasion, on 30 May in Estepona, the victim had just got out of his car and was on his way home. An individual who fitted the same description as the one on the previous two occasions attacked him and snatched his watch from his wrist.

Thanks to the descriptions given by the victims of these attacks, the police were able to identify one of the people involved, who had been wearing the same clothes on each occasion.

On 7 June they located him at Malaga airport as he was about to leave the country, and searched his suitcase. It contained the clothes that had been described in all three incidents, and documentation which was obviously fake so the officers also arrested him on a count of falsifying official documents.