THE Guardia Civil announced on June 20 that it had arrested 14 people (13 men and a woman) who it believes were responsible for no less than 69 robberies or muggings in the provinces of Toledo, Cáceres and Ciudad Real.
Those arrested are accused of an array of crimes against property, robbery with violence and intimidation, theft, illegal theft of property, breach of court sentence and belonging to a criminal group.
During raids on 12 different properties, officers found replica guns, large knives and tools likely to be used for robbery as well as seizing two vehicles, jewellery, watches, audio-visual equipment, computer equipment and mobile phones.
None of those arrested was more than 25-years-old but between them had an impressive record of 113 arrests in respect of 453 crimes!
The operation commenced following a number of attacks on homes and business premises in the town of Torrijos, often where houses were inhabited. The modus operandi of the criminals was to arrange for one person to ring the doorbell of a carefully chosen property and if the owner answered to threaten them whilst other members of the gang ransacked the property.
In the event that property or business was empty, then they would simply break in and steal whatever property they thought would have value. On at least three occasions they attacked elderly people in the street, knocking them down, stealing their possession and leaving them injured.
The gang also had 13 different high-powered vehicles, purchased legally but using false addresses for registration in order, they hoped, to keep the police from being able to trace them.