EARLIER this year, Guardia Civil units were alerted to the fact that there had been a number of thefts of copper cable from such diverse areas as Murcia, Alicante, Albacete and Pontevedra.
Estimating that the value of these crimes amounted to more than €100,000 officers identified a modus operandi whereby the perpetrators struck in isolated area where there was little chance of discovery.
As the investigation proceeded so it became clear that there was an organised criminal group headquartered in Murcia.
Members of the group climbed up telephone poles and at about five metres, they cut at the ends of the section they planned to remove and after cutting the wiring, they pulled each end until they were able to unhook the entire section.
Once the wiring was on the ground, they used nearby locations, which had previously been located, to temporarily hide their loot and after a few days, they would collect it and transport it in large vehicles to other isolated areas where the wiring was burned to separate the copper wire from its plastic wrap.
Finally, the copper was illegally traded in scrap yards in the Murcian municipality.
In addition, it was believed that the group also stole from phone shops and once having sufficient evidence officers arrested nine people and seized vehicles and tools as well as mobile phones and tablets.