By Cathy Elelman • 05 December 2019 • 13:20
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A ROBBERY from a Barcelona jewellery shop last year when one of the thieves pretended to be wheelchair-bound to get their hands on items worth €1.3 million was the key piece in the puzzle leading to the arrest of 10 members of a criminal gang.
Catalan police said the investigation into the hit led to the dismantling of an organisation dedicated not only to robberies, but also to money laundering and drug trafficking.
Security camera footage of the Barcelona theft showed two men passing themselves off as customers, one of whom was feigning a disability. They made the shop staff believe they were interested in buying a luxury watch, but then the guy in the wheelchair pulled out a gun and got to his feet.
The thieves emptied the contents of strong boxes and grabbed watches and jewellery, leaving the staff with then hands and feet tied before making off on the back of two motorbikes driven by accomplices.
After several months of investigations the police identified a 39-year old Argentinian who had one of the stolen watches on him. He turned out to be the gang member responsible for selling the items after the robberies from his jeweller’s in Buenos Aires.
Investigators managed to link the Argentinian to a member of the ‘Dogo’ gang, which had specialised in jewellery thefts. It was broken up in 2012, but had reformed and taken on new members.
Police said the 10 individuals arrested are aged between 23 and 50 and come from Uruguay and Morocco as well as Spain and Argentina.
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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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