THREE men in their 30s were arrested for stealing 1,336 kilos of copper from a newly-finished Garrucha urbanisation.
The thefts began in January 2014, a representative from the company responsible for the 64-home development told the Guardia Civil.
Copper piping and cables had been stripped away, causing considerable damage to the properties, which are now up for sale.
Guardia Civil investigators soon identified one of the alleged thieves who had been seen frequently in the area. They then visited scrap metal dealers, locating one in Cuevas del Almanzora who had bought 20 van-loads of copper reportedly from the same man seen on the Garrucha urbanisation
After arresting him in Garrucha, the Guardias returned to the urbanisation where they arrested his two alleged accomplices, both from Vera, apparently just as they prepared to strike again.