Posted on: March 8, 2023, 07:10h.
Last updated on: March 8, 2023, 07:10h.
A wave of robberies that Murcia, Spain, has been suffering for months entered a new chapter on Tuesday. Thieves hit three gambling halls in different parts of the region, but it wasn’t long before the police were able to throw a net over the gang.
These attacks appeared to be part of a string of robberies that have confounded authorities for months. However, they also left clues that made it easier for the police to intervene and break up at least part of a gang said to be responsible.
The gang deployed a modus operandi similar to that of a group that disappeared years ago after dealing numerous blows in the region. The robbers in the attacks on the gaming halls also traveled in a vehicle identical to the one the other gang used. It’s a vehicle that would be hard not to forget – they were driving a Porsche.
The band started early Tuesday morning when they struck a gambling venue in the city of San Javier, according to sources. The thieves were in and out quickly, but the authorities haven’t detailed what they stole. They only explained that several employees were beaten after three crooks entered the premises. A fourth waited outside to enable a quick getaway.
They then moved on to their second target; however, they didn’t have a lot of success. Security cameras recorded how they accessed the facility after breaking through the front door. Once inside, they smashed a slot machine and tried to open a safe using hydraulic cutters, similar to those used by firefighters to rescue traffic accident victims trapped in their vehicles.
However, the armored box refused to open, so the group, made up of at least four hooded men, fled in less than five minutes. Minutes later, police officers were on the scene, responding to the property’s wailing alarm.
The gang continued their criminal activity and went to another game room, once again swiftly robbing the property before making a fast getaway. After this blow, and as proof of the true nature of its mentality, the group returned to the first property it hit.
There, according to reports, they encountered the same employees they had attacked previously. However, they apparently didn’t attempt another heist and escaped before police could arrive.
Coming To An End
Police are trying to dismantle a large criminal gang that has been operating in various parts of Spain and the assailants in the gambling hall attacks are likely part of the same group. Now, after several months of constant assaults in different parts of Murcia, it seems that the end of the gang’s run may be near.
In addition to gambling halls, the group has hit gas stations and other commercial businesses. Following the robberies at the gaming properties on Tuesday, Spain’s Civil Guard took over several municipalities in the region to throw down a net. The macro-operation resulted in fifteen raids and at least eleven arrests, according to law enforcement sources.
The raids began before dawn, only hours after the third gaming hall attack. The operation, led by the Judicial Police, included nearly a hundred officers, with the Civil Guard having to recruit support from other areas of Spain, such as Andalusia, Valencia and Zaragoza.
The raids were the result of an investigation that began about approximately three months ago, when the complaints about assaults on establishments in the area started to rise. Authorities seized electronic devices and other equipment they said they could link to the crimes, but they’re not done.
The operation, which is under summary secrecy, remains open, according to a government representative. As a result, the number of arrests will rise.