POLICE have broken up two gangs of bank robbers in Madrid and made six arrests.
Police said one of the groups was made up of four members and was particularly violent. One had already been arrested and sentenced for two past homicides committed during two bank robberies. Between them all they have notched up more than 60 arrests.
The authorities believe they took part in hits on two banks, as well as three supermarkets and a pharmacy in various districts of the Spanish capital.
The investigation into the group began at the beginning of June when two of the gang members carried out an armed robbery on a bank branch, threatening the staff. It was while the investigation was underway that there was a second bank robbery with a similar modus operandi, pointing to the two being related.
In both cases the thieves had monitored activities at the branches from when they opened until they closed. They hit each bank just as they were opening up, threatening employees with guns. Once they had the bank cash in their hands they made off in a getaway vehicle driven by another gang member, which was waiting for them nearby.
Investigators identified one of the criminals as a violent bank robber charged with the homicides of a bank employee in Torrevieja and a police officer in Mostoles. This led to the identification of the rest of the gang members, one of whom turned out to be the known robber’s brother.
Police arrested the two siblings in Bernuy de Porreros in Segovia and the other two in the Madrid. Raids on their homes led to the discovery in items used for the robberies.
In a parallel operation, police arrested two men accused of getting away with nearly €200,000 after targeting two banks. The way of operating was very similar to that of the other gang, police said.
They made their move at opening time and were carrying firearms.
When police carried out a search of one of the suspect’s homes they recovered more than €40,000 in cash.
One of the individuals detained had three arrests orders hanging over his head.