By John Ensor •
Updated: 14 Aug 2023 • 16:52
Guardia Civil working to re-united pets with their owners.
Credit: Guardia Civil.es
A man has been arrested for defrauding owners of stolen dogs by making them believe he knew of their whereabouts.
A report published on Monday, August 14, by the Guardia Civil revealed how in just a few weeks, he managed to deceive at least ten people from all over Spain who were trying to find their dogs by posting their search on social media networks.
Once the scam was completed, from which he obtained an economic return of between €100 and €200 for each one, he mocked the distraught owners, boasting that he had deceived them.
Investigating officers arrested the man who is accused of defrauding at least ten people throughout Spain, taking advantage of the fact that the victims had had their beloved pets stolen.
Two people reported the theft of their dog at the Aspe and Novelda Civil Guard Posts, in Alicante, in June of this year. Based on these complaints, the specialised Team against Robberies in the Field (ROCA) of the Guardia Civil began the ‘Dogs Rescue’ operation.
Both complainants had spread the request for help in locating them through social networks. Shortly after, a person contacted them telling them that he had seen the sale of his dog advertised online for €200 but that he did not have the money to pay for it and thus be able to rescue it and send it to his owners.
In this way, the victims, trusting in the goodwill of this person and desperate to recover their faithful friends, fell into the trap of making a transfer immediately. The scammer did not really know the whereabouts of these dogs, he was just taking advantage of the information he had gleaned from the owners’ ‘Wanted’ ads.
Once he had the owner’s money in his possession, he contacted some of the victims again, mocking them for having fallen for the scam.
When the investigators managed to find out the identity of the alleged perpetrator of the scams, they found that in just a few weeks he had deceived at least eight other people in the provinces of Cadiz, Granada, Leon, Malaga, Sevilla and Tarragona.
Once the necessary information was collected, officers travelled to the town of Ceuti, in Murcia, where they located and arrested the suspect, a 41-year-old man with a history of committing similar scams before. After the imputation of 10 crimes, the investigated proceedings were made available to the Court of Molina de Segura, in Murcia.
Two of the ten stolen dogs have already been located in the provinces of Leon and Cadiz. The officers, in collaboration with dog shelters in the area, continue with the investigation to try to locate the rest so that they can be returned to their owners.
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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.
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