More suspects nabbed for motorway service station vehicle burglaries

Photo: Guardia Civil

More suspects nabbed for motorway service station vehicle burglaries
By Alex Watkins
GUARDIA Civil have arrested two people accused of burgling vehicles at rest areas and service stations along the A-7 motorway in the Valencia and Murcia regions.
The suspects, two Romanian men aged 31 and 59 of no known abode, had been arrested in connection with similar acts on previous occasions and were the subject of seven search and arrest warrants from courts in Alicante, Murcia and Valencia provinces, a spokesperson for the force explained.
This time they are facing 17 charges for crimes in these same provinces, following their detention on May 27 when they returned to a vehicle which had been used to commit the latest offences, and was being watched by officers after it had been left in in a ‘well known’ urbanisation in Alicante.
The Guardia Civil operation was launched by officers based in Villajoyosa after a series of vehicle burglaries at a rest area on the A-7 in the municipality during the Holy Week fiestas.
The thieves used vehicles acquired abroad using other people’s identification papers without their knowledge.
The victims were principally foreign tourists or people using the motorway to drive to other countries.
The criminal who did the driving would stop next to the victims while the other would sneak out of the back door and either take advantage of the occupants being distracted or smash a window to steal their belongings.
The spokesperson assured that the criminals ‘would not hesitate to endanger victims or other road users to ensure their getaway’.
One burglary occurred at the Villajoyosa service station in July last year, when the thieves were surprised and sped off at over 200 kilometres per hour, bursting one of their own vehicle’s tyres.
The suspects are accused of 11 counts of theft, four of burglary with forced entry, reckless driving and belonging to a criminal organisation, and have been granted conditional bail by a court in Alicante.
Officers also seized two vehicles which had been used to commit the burglaries.
These detentions follow the Guardia Civil’s announcement last week that two other men had been arrested for 174 counts of similar offences on the A-7 in the Valencia and Murcia regions, who detectives established were part of a wider gang operating in Spain.
The spokesperson recommended that residents and tourists take precautions to preserve their safety and belongings during road journeys by avoiding solitary places and choosing rest ares that are well lit and have other people there; ensuring the vehicle is always locked when getting out to refuel or take a rest; and keeping valuables out of view from the exterior of the vehicle, preferably in a suitcase or carried on one’s person.


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