LIKE a band of magpies attracted to shiny things, a group of eight individuals aged from 16 to 27 and coming from Bulgaria, Morocco, South America and Spain went on a crime spree across the suburbs of Madrid until they were arrested by officers of the Guardia Civil.
It now appears that between them, the eight managed to pull off 150 burglaries in the Madrid area, starting first with break-ins at empty houses and then expanding their range to attack houses where the owners were at home and the men threatened them with imitation firearms.
The Guardia Civil first became aware of the increase in break-ins to homes in the suburbs in September of 2015 and spent some considerable time in linking the break-ins and tracing the men, who favoured bicycles as a form of transport, which would allow them to elude police in vehicles as they mainly only stole small, portable and valuable items.
As they became more successful, so the men became more blatant and lived the high life, visiting expensive restaurants, hotels and casinos.
The members of the gang have now been charged with belonging to a criminal organisation, burglary and robbery and they have been remanded in custody prior to being sent to trial.