WATCH: Family clan of thieves copped for nicking truck merchandise in Cataluña

CATALAN police arrested 23 members of a family clan for stealing more than €1.6 million in merchandise from lorries when the drivers stopped to rest.

Investigations were first launched in May when police detected a considerable increase in thefts from trucks parked up on the AP-7, especially at rest areas in Penedes and Monseny.

In each case the robbers had got into the back of the lorries at night and cut the tarpaulins on crates to check the contents. When they found they contained something of interest they left one person to keep an eye on the truck, then went to get vehicles, usually vans, into which they loaded stolen goods.

The thieves were usually in and out the lorries in less than 10 minutes.

Although they did their best to go unnoticed, the gang members did not hesitate to issue threats and use violence against truck drivers if they woke up and got out the cabin to see what was going on.

Police said the clan had at their disposal an important network of individuals which meant they could sell the stolen items as quickly as possible, in some cases offloading entire cargos in less than 12 hours.

Their main targets were transports of clothing and footwear, electronic goods like TVs and computers, and alcohol.

The investigation in the clan members’ activities culminated in an operation involving 300 officers and led to the detention of 18 men and five women aged between 21 and 49, all resident in Barcelona and the surrounding area, on charges of 15 truck break-ins and three robberies by intimidation.

A married couple based in the Sant Marti district of Barcelona headed the clan, while most of the members have lengthy criminal records.

A judge ruled prison on remand for the six leading gang members.

Police recovered a large quantity of stolen goods, with a value of some €550,000. They also seized seven vehicles, one valued at more than €100,000, and €26,500 in cash.

The operation also resulted in the dismantling of two marijuana plantations, one with 500 plants valued at more than €200,000, which two of the detainees had at their homes in Terrassa and in the Trinitat Nova district of the Catalan capital.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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