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Costa del Sol ram-raid gang busted after 20 robberies
Crime

Costa del Sol ram-raid gang busted after 20 robberies

The crime wave in towns such as Manilva, Estepona, Sabinillas and Ronda coincided with the release of one of the suspects from prison

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Friday, 12 April 2024, 12:49

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Police have arrested three people allegedly part of a gang of burglars responsible for more than 20 robberies on the Costa del Sol and Cadiz.

Those arrested by Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil are allegedly the same people who last summer ransacked numerous stores in Estepona, Manilva and San Pedro Alcántara after crashing stolen high-end cars into shop windows. The robberies took place almost every weekend and occurred just as one of the suspects had been released from prison, according to investigators.

The police operation started at the end of July following a robbery at an electronic goods shop in Estepona. A few days later the alleged ram-raiders then robbed a jewellery shop in the centre of San Luis de Sabinillas, in Manilva, where they stole pieces valued at 15,285 euros. They then fled, leaving behind the vehicle they used in the robbery, which had been stolen hours earlier from the same area.

Not even a week had passed when two more robberies took place, this time in San Pedro Alcántara. The incidents happened in the town centre and were barely 24 hours apart. The first robbery was at about 3.45am on Saturday 5 August in an Orange shop. Witnesses alerted the 112-Andalucía emergency service and National Police, saying a vehicle had smashed into the shop window.

Witnesses then saw four hooded individuals fleeing in another luxury car, according to sources. The perpetrators apparently abandoned the car used to commit the break-in. The next morning, the alleged burglars struck again, this time at a jewellery shop just a few metres away from where they last targeted, also in the centre of San Pedro Alcántara. The noise of another vehicle smashing into a shopfront again startled neighbours who immediately alerted the authorities. They again reported four men were involved.

The luck of the burglars changed in September when during the early hours of 4 September they allegedly tried to rob the Supermercado El Jamón in Sabinillas, but the robbery was foiled by police patrols - the perpetrators fled again in another car.

A few days later, they returned to Ronda where they allegedly rammed a vehicle previously stolen from the La Deshesa neighbourhood into an Orange shop in calle La Bolsa. A quick response by police again foiled the plan, which was to steal mobile phones. They again fled in another car waiting to pick them up in the area.

The gang is accused of 22 alleged crimes - 12 burglaries and 10 vehicle thefts - in just four months. One suspect member of the gang was arrested on 18 August during police investigations into a robbery at a supermarket in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz), while two others were arrested on 6 October when they were carrying out another alleged robbery in San Pedro Alcántara. A fourth suspect was under investigation.

The three detainees, of Spanish nationality and aged between 22 and 32, were brought before the courts for alleged robbery, vehicle theft and membership of a criminal organisation, and were remanded in custody.

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