THANKS to a tip off from Interpol and German police, agents from the GEO section of the National Police managed to arrest a well-known gang of jewel thieves from Serbia known as the ‘Pink Panthers’ as they stole jewellery valued at €400,000 from a shop in Barcelona in just 48 seconds on August 5.
Unbeknown to the members of the gang, the movement of three of them had been followed from the moment they arrived at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport on Monday August 1. One man rented a moped which he left some considerable way from his hotel and when the officers sent his details to their counterparts in Belgrade, it was confirmed that he was one of the suspected members of the gang.
This individual met up with two other known ‘faces’ and at that stage various specialist divisions from the National Police were rushed to Barcelona as it was believed that a robbery was imminent. Two more unknown men then appeared on the scene and on August 5 the gang descended on a jewellery store in the Paseo de Gracia.
The robbery was actually timed at 48 seconds from entry to exit and the majority of all of this gangs crimes have been committed in less than one minute, hence their nickname and association with the Pink Panther films.
Whilst some of the men were arrested within metres of the shop, one pulled out a .44 calibre revolver and tried to escape but surrendered after a number of shots were fired by the officers and the fifth man was on the run for a few minutes before being detained.
It is believed that this gang has been responsible for a very large number of international crimes over a period of years and the Spanish police are therefore very pleased that they have terminated the gangs activities without any injuries to their officers or the public and that all of the stolen jewellery was recovered.