The hamlet of El Valdés where the burglaries took place / e. cabezas

Axarquia village hit by spate of burglaries

Residents witnessed three incidents in just six hours and are calling for extra policing. One said "We are afraid. They must have been keeping an eye on us, because they waited for us to go out in the afternoon to break in"

Eugenio Cabezas

The hamlet El Valdés, which belongs to the village of Moclinejo in the Axarquía, saw a spate of burglaries in just six hours on 20 February when three neighbouring houses were broken into. All properties were empty at the time.

Raquel Escaño, one of the affected residents who lives with her partner and young son told SUR: "We are afraid, because we don't know if they can get back in. They must have been keeping an eye on us, because they waited for us to go out in the afternoon to break through one of the gates.”

She went on to say, "The strangest thing of all is that the dogs didn't stop them, we have a Rottweiler and from what the neighbours told us, they only heard it barking.”

She explained that the thieves took jewellery and cash. "That's the only thing they were looking for in the three houses, but they left them in total disarray.”

Escaño has criticised the response of the Guardia Civil, saying, "[They] only went up when the third neighbour called, when they realised that there had been three robberies in a few hours in the same area." She was also told that police had been investigating at least 14 cases in recent weeks. “We need more police vigilance," she argued.

Police were unable to take fingerprints as the perpetrators were wearing gloves. Escaño hopes they will be caught soon and said, “We are very scared, we know we live in the countryside, but it would be good if there were more Guardia Civil patrols at the Rincón de la Victoria station, which is where we depend on for policing."

Last December, residents in the villages of Macharaviaya, Iznate and Almáchar demanded more police presence after five burglaries were reported in the space of one month.