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Watch: Notorious family gang of Costa del Sol bank robbers nicknamed 'The Daltons' is back in action again

The alleged mastermind of the group has been arrested by police along with a relative for trying to rob Bankinter branch on Avenida de Andalucía in Malaga city

Juan Cano

Malaga

Tuesday, 30 April 2024, 15:13

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The Dalton brothers, four outlaws who dedicated themselves to robbing banks at the end of the 19th century, were made famous in films, comic books and a popular television series, where they were pursued repeatedly by Lucky Luke, a lone cowboy who always managed to foil their plans.

For years, the police, like Lucky Luke, have been following in the footsteps of a family of robbers from Malaga, known as 'Los Daltons'. After their last arrest, which led to them spending time behind bars, they seemed to have retired. But no. At least some of them didn't.

David L. L., alias El Oreja, considered by the police to be the mastermind of the gang, was arrested again a few days ago when he and a relative allegedly tried to rob a Bankinter branch located on Avenida de Andalucía in Malaga city, just two kilometres away from the National Police's provincial headquarters in Plaza Manuel Azaña.

It happened about 12.15pm on 19 April. Emergency services received a call alerting them to a robbery at the bank. Two local police officers who were in the area then rushed to the scene. On arrival, they went to take a look through the window of the branch and spotted a woman running to hide in an office while waving to them.

To avoid being caught, they went to the side of the bank and from there they could see what was going on inside. One of the officers noticed a woman and a man at the back, both employees, who appeared to be very frightened. They too made hand gestures to them. They seemed to be pointing to a corridor in the office.

The two local policemen entered the branch. After drawing their guns, they shouted "stop, police! The two alleged robbers came out and threw themselves to the ground. There they were arrested and a gun, which turned out to be a dummy, was seized. They didn't know it at the time, but they had just arrested the leader of 'The Daltons' and a relative accompanying him, although this time it wasn't one of his three brothers.

Unusual profile

David L. L. is not the usual profile of a bank robber: he has studied law and is fond of reading and contact sports. But, according to those who know him, he loves the 'bon vivant' above all else: fashionable restaurants, expensive hotels and trips to exotic places. The source added: "I don't even think he does it for the money."

His criminal record began when he was still a minor and has a dozen arrests to his name. The last dates back to 25 February 2019, when he fell along with part of the gang - and his entire family - in an operation by the National Police and Mossos d'Esquadra that resulted in 13 arrests.

In November 2020, David López, his brother and two cronies were sentenced to four years in prison - the sentence was reached by agreement - for the robbery of a Bankinter branch in Marbella. Once inside, they pointed a pistol at five bank employees, demanding the code word for the alarm and to open the safe. The workers, frightened, obeyed and, under their orders, put the money from the safe into plastic bags. They stole 214,235 euros.

After escaping from the bank, the gang used a radial saw to try to open several safe deposit boxes stolen from the bank. They succeeded with one of them and seized another 50,000 euros in cash, two Pattek Philippe watches, another Omega watch and several pieces of jewellery valued at 117,000 euros.

David L. L. and his brother kept part of the stolen money and jewellery on a farm in Cártama owned by their parents. The stash was hidden inside a beach cooler and two metal chests and buried - so it was not easy for the police to locate them.

Calls for Local Police officers to be commended for the arrest of the robbers

The Sindicato Independiente de la Policía Local de Andalucía (SIP-AN), the union representing the majority of officers in Malaga and Andalucía, has requested through its secretary general, Manuel Troyano, recognition for the two Local Police officers who arrested the robbers of the Bankinter branch on Avenida de Andalucía.

The union leader has asked the Local Police headquarters, given that this year Malaga will host the awarding of the Andalusian local police merit medals, to propose these two officers for the distinction.

SIP-AN stressed "the importance and urgency" of the Local Police being considered a high-risk profession: "This type of service, and many others that we encounter every day when we put on our uniforms, demonstrate the need for the Local Police to be recognised once and for all as a high-risk profession, because if something had happened to these officers that prevented them from continuing to carry out their work, they could have retired with only a 55% pension".

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