By John Ensor •
Updated: 14 Jul 2023 • 16:52
Policia Nacional vehicle.
Credit: Steved_np3/Shutterstock. com
A gang that Specialised in robbing hotel safes in different countries across the European Union have been arrested.
It is believed they were responsible for up to 16 robberies in Spain two of which occurred in Alicante, according to Policia Nacional, Friday, July 14.
Investigations were conducted with the help of Europol, as the gang operated throughout the EU. As well as Spain they have been linked to thefts in Germany, Portugal, Austria and the Czech Republic.
In a joint investigation between the National Police, and the Mossos d’Esquadra, two members of a group were arrested. Two robberies in Alicante and 14 robberies in the city of Barcelona have been attributed to them.
Evidence revealed that the suspects entered the hotel posing as clients and looked for possible victims who were leaving their rooms. The thieves would gain access to the room and steal the contents deposited within the safes.
On occasion, they had even stayed at the hotel the night before in order to check on the different clients staying at the hotel and choose those who they thought might have cash in the safes.
The suspects gained access to the hotel rooms without leaving any trace. Once inside, they forced the safe by drilling a hole in the side, at the height of the pistons, to break them and thus release the locking mechanism of the safe door. When it was open, they would take money and jewellery left by the hotel guests, but not passports or other personal documents.
The robberies took place in different hotels, and the criminals managed to steal more than €50,000 and several items of jewellery.
During the investigation, Europol coordinated meetings with authorities from other European countries to cross-check intelligence data that served to locate and ultimately arrest those under investigation.
The detainees were highly mobile throughout Europe, and some of the people who had collaborated with them are in prison in different European countries, namely Austria and Portugal.
In an entry and search carried out at a home on July 4 in Vilajoiosa, Alicante, police confiscated a kit for entering rooms and opening safes, €1,000 in cash, jewellery, hotel cards and various items of clothing worn at the time of the robbery were seized. A vehicle has also been seized.
Both suspects have been remanded in prison after being brought before a court. The investigation is still open with the potential of more arrests being made.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
What´s that expression about putting them in prison and throwing away the key !
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