THREE employees authorised to check gas installations were arrested by Malaga police and charged with robbery.
Two of the men, wearing company uniform, went into homes on the pretext of carrying out an inspection after showing their credentials.
Once inside, one workman distracted the owner with explanations of alleged technical failings. Meanwhile, another slipped into the bedrooms to pocket items of value and money.
The men stole a cashbox containing €20,000 from one home. In another they took three envelopes containing €800 in cash from the bedroom of their 100-year-old victim.
Police received a tipoff and, with the collaboration of the inadvertently involved gas company, arrested the three men aged 46, 28 and 20.
A considerable amount of stolen jewellery sold to gold merchants was also recovered.