OFFICERS of the Guardia Civil arrested 10 people (seven men and three women) belonging to a criminal organisation which specialised in stealing goods from vehicles mainly owned by people of the Maghreb (which refers to most of North Africa) that were parked in service areas in the provinces of Granada, Jaen and Malaga, according to a press release issued on May 15.
As part of the investigation, three houses and four rental vehicles were searched and from the 30 alleged robberies said to have taken place, a range of bags which contained clothes, mobile phones, jewellery and money were seized.
Officers had noted the growing number of offences that had occurred in the service areas of the cities mentioned, and decided to investigate whether a gang was involved.
Following a theft from a vehicle that was parked in the service area La Nava, located at kilometre 97 of the A-44, in the municipality of Iznalloz, the officers proceeded to arrest the members of the gang in Granada.
Those detained are not Spanish residents and apparently moved on many occasions in order to avoid detection, paying rental cost for both accommodation and vehicles in cash.
Their modus operandi was for the stolen property to be placed into one vehicle which would leave the parking area very quickly. It would then meet up with the second vehicle in a secluded area and transfer the stolen goods, so that if it was stopped following identification by security cameras it would appear innocent.
All were however caught ‘red-handed’ and seven of the 10, who are said to be of Romanian extraction, have been detained in prison.