Major Spanish car theft ring dismantled

Alicante car scammers busted

Gang closed down for stolen car scam. Credit:

A sophisticated car theft syndicate operating across Alicante and Valencia has been taken down, bringing to light a well-organised criminal enterprise.

On Tuesday, March 26, the Guardia Civil published details of Operation PIMA-KRADSTI, which detained four individuals and is investigating a fifth.

The suspects are all aged between 19 and 50 years old and are charged with the crimes of motor vehicle theft, document falsification and membership in a criminal organisation.

The suspects are implicated in the theft, forgery, and illicit sales of vehicles, a venture that saw them focusing on mid to high-range models for their lucrative scam.

The arrests and ongoing inquiry took place in several localities, including Denia, Javea, Teulada, and Gandia.

A year-long investigation pays off

The complex investigation had been ongoing for around a year and gradually unravelled the group’s complex operations. They ingeniously altered vehicle chassis numbers and swapped license plates to disguise the stolen cars as legitimate ones, using details from damaged or active vehicles in Spain and abroad.

This tactic enabled them to reintegrate the cars into the market seamlessly, turning a quick and substantial profit.

High-tech crime tools uncovered

The crackdown, which took place on March 6, led to the recovery of 13 stolen vehicles from various locations in Alicante, Madrid, and Valencia.

The operation also unveiled an array of high-tech gadgets used by the criminals, including devices for key cloning, control unit tampering, and signal jamming.

Machinery for altering vehicle identification numbers and manufacturing fake license plates was also seized, underscoring the sophisticated nature of the criminal network.

The collaborative efforts of the Guardia Civil’s Organised Crime Team in Alicante (ECO Levante), the Judicial Police’s Calpe Territorial Team, and international law enforcement agencies illustrate the global challenge posed by such criminal activities.

The case is now with the Investigating Court number 2 of Denia, marking a significant victory in the fight against organised auto theft.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.