Friday, 9 February 2024, 07:21
Shop owners in the centre of Ronda have been left furious after a spate of thefts in just one month.
Antonio Palma, secretary of the local business association Apymer claimed there have been about 20 thefts in Calle La Bola, the main shopping street of the town, in just four weeks. Most of them, 17 out of 20, have been committed by the same thief, a man with addiction problems, he claimed. Two other men were responsible for the other crimes, with police arresting them.
"He knows how to steal to avoid going to prison, he does not exceed 400 euros, which does not warrant jail, he tries not to carry the goods on him, he does not assault, because theft with violence does warrant jail," Palma said. "The problem is not in the vigilance, there is a very lax legislation with these types of acts. The only thing we can hope for is that one day he makes a mistake and steals more than 400 euros," he added, pointing out that "it is a very complicated situation as they are polydrug addicts who are looking to get something quick for their daily fix".
The thefts have occurred during broad daylight, with sports stores especially targeted. "He enters, with total brazenness, takes the item, or the garment, and leaves," said the Apymer secretary. "We're afraid that he'll pull a knife on us... You see him stealing and you can't do anything," said another store owner who preferred to remain anonymous.
In some cases, the thieves have targeted customers inside shops, stealing their wallets and handbags. The police, also powerless, have increased surveillance in the area in the face of the wave of the thefts.
Apymer held a meeting with the town hall, while another meeting will be held among shop owners. "Security is a priority for us and we are going to work hard to guarantee it," mayor María de la Paz Fernández said. The council is also working with the department of social affairs.
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