Video footage from the Local Police surveillance. / SUR

Hugging and kissing thieves arrested for stealing from victims

Police detained the pair in Malaga after two young Swedish people had mobile phones and cash stolen

JUAN CANO / ÁLVARO FRÍAS

To the layman's eyes, it was just a loving couple lavishing friendly kisses and hugs. But the pair could not fool two Local Police officers who were patrolling in plain clothes through the streets of Malaga city centre. The policemen discovered that it was the couple's modus operandi to steal from victims, but they caught them, red-handed, and arrested them.

According to police sources, the pair appeared to be studying the young people who were passing through the area, which led officers suspect that they were looking for victims to steal from, so they began a discreet surveillance of them.

Local Police watched how the now-detained pair both began to kiss and hug another couple with the «intention of disguising» getting closer to them. Then, they saw how the man reached into the woman's bag to remove an object, although they were not close enough to see what it was.

The thieving pair then left, mingling amongst other young people. The police officers briefly lost sight of them but, moments later, they were spotted by another patrol.

This second police unit also saw the couple in action - using the same modus operandi. Again, they left in a hurry.

Finally, when the agents detained the couple - both 31-year-old Venezuelans and in an 'irregular situation' in the country - they found that the woman had the mobile phone that she had just stolen and 35 euros in her purse, while her companion had 60 euros in different bank notes.

When police spoke to the victims, both 19-year-old and Swedish, they reported their mobile phones had been stolen from them, one of which - valued at 1,000 euros - was found in the possession of the arrested couple. The other device could not be found.

The incident happened in the early hours of 31 July, but it has only just come to light.

The alleged thieves now face deportation proceedings.