‘Huggy’ thieves targeting foreign tourists in south of Spain detained by police

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SNEAKY: The thief pockets an item of the victims’ jewellery while giving them a hug. Photo credit: Guardia Civil


POLICE have detained a woman believed to have tried to steal from a pair of foreign tourists in the south of Spain.

The tourists contacted the Guardia Civil to report the attempted robbery in Vera (Almeria) in Andalucia, giving them a description of the woman and her vehicle. Officers tracked the car down a short time later at the entrance to a supermarket in Mojacar, with two men and two women inside.

Checking their identity it turned out the four had a record for similar crimes. Court summons for one woman, identified as C.D., had been issued for thefts in Moraira in Alicante and Alcobendas in Madrid.

The Guardia said it was probable they were an organised gang which moved around the country, committing crimes and then moving on quickly before they could be caught and arrested.

Their normal modus operandi is to pick on the elderly or people with reduced mobility, approaching them on a pretext like asking directions to a hospital or health centre, or even making them believe they have friends in common. The woman who actually does the thieving then hugs the victim, at the same time pocketing an item of jewellery.

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