The thieves took 20,000 euros from this cashpoint in Marbella. / JOSELE

Bank robbers face charges for blowing open 14 cash machines on the Costa

The gang allegedly made off with 270,000 euros in just a couple of months from bank branches in Estepona, Marbella, Mijas and Malaga city

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / JUAN CANO

Eight people are facing a court in Malaga charged with using homemade explosives to blow open 14 bank cash machines on the Costa del Sol and stealing more than 270,000 in just over two months.

According to the public prosecutor, the gang used oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders, as well as a pressure gauge, hoses, cables and a battery to break their way into the cashpoints in Estepona, Marbella.

The bank raids took place between December 2013 and the months of January and February of the following year. The first of them was on 18 December, when they stole 9,650 euros from the Deutsche Bank branch on the Benamara residential development, in Estepona.

Loot

Most raids were carried out in Marbella, where half a dozen branches were hit, but the gang also carried out robberies - or attempts - in towns including Estepona (two), Mijas (three) and Malaga city (three).

Santander was the most frequently hit bank, with six cashpoints blown open and almost 160,000 euros taken. Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Caja Rural de Granada and Banco Popular also suffered robberies and the gang looted some 114,359 euros from them.

In addition to the cash amounts stolen the gang caused substantial damage to the bank offices, which in some cases amounted to 20,000 euros.

The Prosecutor's Office considers the eight defendants responsible for the crimes of belonging to a criminal group and robbery with force, amongst other charges and is calling for six-year prison sentences for each of them.