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Video: Europa Press
Crime

Man arrested for scamming owners of stolen pets in Spain and then calling them to mock them

He claimed to know the whereabouts of the animals, but insisted on payment in advance before he would divulge the information

Europa Press

Madrid

Monday, 14 August 2023, 17:58

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Guardia Civil police officers in Spain have arrested a man accused of defrauding at least 10 people, taking advantage of the fact that they had been victims of pet theft. Once he had the money in his possession, he contacted some of those affected and mocked them for having fallen for his scam.

The original investigation started when two people reported the theft of their dogs to the Guardia Civil in Alicante in June this year. From these complaints, a specialised team against theft gave rise to Operation Dogs Rescue, according to the force.

Both complainants had spread the request for help to locate their pets through social media networks. Shortly afterwards, a person contacted them saying that he had seen his dog advertised for sale on the internet for 200 euros but that he did not have the money to pay for it so that he could rescue it and return it to its owners.

In this way, the victims, "trusting in the goodwill of this person and desperate to get their pets back", fell into the trap by immediately making a money transfer to him. The alleged scammer did not really know the whereabouts of these dogs, but only took advantage of the information he had obtained from the owners' wanted ads.

When police investigators managed to discover the identity of the alleged scammer, they discovered that in just a few weeks he had deceived at least eight other people in the provinces of Cadiz, Granada, León, Malaga, Seville and Tarragona.

Having gathered the necessary information, officers travelled to the town of Ceutí, in Murcia, where they located and arrested the suspect, a 41-year-old man with a previous record of committing similar scams. After being charged with 10 offences, the proceedings were handed over to the court in Molina de Segura, in Murcia.

Two of the ten stolen dogs have already been located in the provinces of León and Cadiz. Police, in collaboration with dog shelters in the area, are continuing with the investigation to try to locate the rest of the dogs so that they can be returned to their rightful owners.

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