Three men, two of them brothers, who are wanted for a string of robberies including one carried out with a sawn-off shotgun, have been arrested by police in Elche.
One of the men had only just completed a 12-year prison sentence and was on licence when he was arrested by armed officers of the National Police.
The two brothers were arrested first in raids on their homes. That led to the identification and arrest of the third man a day later in the basement of another property.
After the three men, aged 51, 46 and 41, were taken into custody last week, the gun was recovered hidden in a field in Elche and was found to have been stolen from a vehicle in November 2015.
In raids on two properties the police found clothing allegedly worn by the men when carrying out the robberies. In one of them they got away with 1,000 euros.
Police said one of the men would commit the robbery, while a second kept watch and the third sat at the wheel of a getaway vehicle.
Police said their actions were characterised by violence and intimidation and at one stage a pharmacy worker was threatened with a knife.
In the first raid carried out on a 24-hour supermarket in Elche in late June, the raiders struck in the early hours of the morning. The second took place at the pharmacy when the men stole the 1,000 euros.
But in the third raid the men fled empty-handed when staff fought back and refused to hand over any cash.
The three men have already appeared at a judicial hearing at which the immediate imprisonment of two of them was sanctioned.
The third man was granted conditional bail pending a trial date.