THREE women were arrested in Bilbao charged with belonging to an itinerant criminal gang based in France and responsible for numerous house robberies.
The Basque police, the Ertzaintza, arrested the Croatian women, aged between 35 and 39, who all had extensive criminal records and used as many as 43 fake identities to escape the police in different European countries.
They were located in a car in Irun, Gipuzkoa, with which they travelled to Vitoria and then Bilbao, where they parked. It had been hired in Paris.
They kept some distance from each other once they got out of the car, so that police would not realise they were together, and entered an apartment block.
When they left, they were stopped by the police carrying tools for picking and breaking locks, all hidden in socks which they hid under their clothes.
The police seized all of the tools, as well as €2,500 in cash, but found that they had not entered any homes in the apartment building or anywhere else in the Basque country. The itinerant thieves were arrested before leaving Bilbao.
They travelled from France to nearby areas to break into apartments and within days or just hours, return to their headquarters with the stolen goods.
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