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Some of the stolen crucifixes that were recovered. Guardia Civil
Gang that stole massive haul of bronze crucifixes from 20 cemeteries in Spain is dismantled
Crime

Gang that stole massive haul of bronze crucifixes from 20 cemeteries in Spain is dismantled

Police have arrested seven people, including several who allegedly cut up the objects before melting them down and selling the metal to scrap yards and waste management centres

J.M.L

Toledo

Sunday, 7 July 2024, 22:44

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The Guardia Civil has managed to identify and arrest the seven alleged members of a gang that for weeks had been causing a great deal of upset among local residents in the Spanish province of Toledo when they entered around twenty cemeteries to steal bronze crucifixes and other metal-based items from tombs and graves.

Four of those arrested are the alleged thieves who lifted the pieces. The others are believed to have been in charge of collecting the crucifixes and cutting them up for subsequent smelting. For this reason they are considered responsible for the crime of receiving stolen goods. During the police operation to capture and arrest the perpetrators ,the Guardia Civil managed to recover 90 crucifixes that had been stolen from the El Casar de Escalona cemetery (Toledo) and they also seized a sackful of pieces of many figures of Christ weighing one tonne at a pick-up point for fenced goods in Madrid.

Officers also seized documentation related to the purchase and sale of these materials, a metal-shredder with the remains of small crucifixes still in it and 17,440 euros in cash.

According to the crime reports lodged by the town councils and families affected by these thefts, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people have been harmed in some way by the criminal actions of this gang. The latter were clearly looking for a quick profit by clandestinely selling the bronze in scrap yards and waste management centres where the price per kilo of bronze can reach up to seven euros. The six detainees, all men, have been brought before the courts for processing.

No trace of the bust with a reward

The detainees have also been blamed for the theft of crucifixes from the cemetery in the town of Los Yébenes in Toledo, from where the famous bust of Juan Garoz Pedraza, founder of a local taxidermy company, disappeared. His family has offered a reward of 10,000 euros for anyone who finds the object, for the time being, there is no trace of this large bronze piece that could have been cut up by the criminal gang now taken down to face justice.

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