Posted on: March 15, 2023, 08:27h.
Last updated on: March 15, 2023, 08:27h.
A criminal gang has been hitting various gambling halls around Madrid, Spain, but their unique form of transport is making a bigger splash than their thefts. Most thieves would prefer to use non-descript vehicles to cover their tracks; however, these crooks were traveling back and forth in Uber-like cars.
Agents of Spain’s National Police recently took down the group, which specialized in assaulting gambling halls in different locations in the autonomous community of Madrid. The operation resulted in five arrests for the alleged commission of twelve robberies.
The crooks used large knives and tasers to intimidate the employees of the facilities and get the loot. When it came time for them to make their getaway, a private, chauffeured vehicle would pick them up.
All Roads Lead To Capture
This case is separate from another recent crime wave that hit Murcia. That group of criminals has also been arrested and there’s no indication that they have ties to the recent thefts in Madrid.
Investigators in the Madrid case were able to establish a connection between different violent robberies committed in different towns around the area. From there, they began putting the pieces together.
The assaults began last October and continued until the crooks ran into the police in February. Soon after the first attack, an investigation began, and not even ski masks were enough to conceal the criminals’ identities.
The police were able to identify one of the group as the main person responsible for the attacks. Then, after they located him, they put him under 24-hour surveillance and waited for him to make his next robbery.
When studying his movements, the agents discovered that he was acting with other men. They used privately-chauffeured vehicles, similar to an Uber service, to reach the premises and flee. The objective was apparently to try to make it difficult for the police to track them.
However, after investigators identified the modus operandi, they can pull travel records of the services. With that information, they have a stronger case against the crooks.
In the course of the investigation, in the middle of last February, the police learned that a robbery was taking place at that moment at a gambling establishment in the town of Parla. They immediately launched an operation to catch the crooks in the act.
It worked, and the police caught the leader of the group red-handed, according to an official press release. With him, they nabbed two other men and confiscated the taser, a large knife, a ski mask and the cash register they had just stolen.
After the Parla robbery, the agents continued the investigation efforts and managed to identify two other men. They had participated with the leader of the group in the robbery of a gaming venue in Madrid at the end of last December.
Now, the police are working on putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together to determine how much the gang stole. In the most recent assault, the haul wasn’t that great, with the crooks only getting away with €650 (US$697).
It’s possible that the investigation will lead to additional arrests, as well. For now, the five thieves are in jail as they await their day in court. Armed robbery in Spain can lead to up to five years in prison, according to the website SpainLawyer.com, and it’s likely this quintet is looking at a full sentence.