Dismantling of a criminal organization involved in solar panel theft

by Lorraine Williamson
solar panel theft arrests

MADRID – In a significant breakthrough, the Guardia Civil has apprehended six individuals in Madrid and Palencia for their alleged involvement in a specialised criminal organisation dedicated to stealing solar panels from photovoltaic installations.

In this article, we delve into Operation Solarpa and highlight the methods employed by the perpetrators, shedding light on recent incidents and the successful apprehension of the suspects.

Violent theft attempt foiled at Ciguñuela Solar Plant

In April of this year, an attempted theft at a photovoltaic plant in Ciguñuela, Valladolid, led to the initiation of an investigation. The criminals began by stealing a truck from an industrial park in Valladolid and proceeded to the solar plant. There, they resorted to violence, brandishing a firearm to intimidate and assault the security guard. Fortunately, the vigilant security guard managed to alert the Guardia Civil before the thieves could steal his phone, thereby preventing the theft of the solar panels.

Continued criminal activities: The Minglanilla incident

Following the initial robbery attempt, the authorities discovered that the criminal organisation was responsible for another violent theft on June 3. This time, the incident took place at a photovoltaic plant in Minglanilla, Cuenca. Furthermore, the perpetrators successfully stole a total of 1,015 solar panels, amounting to an estimated value of €300,000.

Cogesa Expats

Apprehension of perpetrators and recovery of stolen goods

The Guardia Civil arrested four individuals on June 9 in Magaz de Pisuerga, Palencia, just as they were about to commit another robbery. Subsequently, two more individuals were detained for their alleged involvement in receiving stolen goods. These arrests were carried out in the Cañada Real area of Madrid, where the authorities also managed to recover a portion of the stolen merchandise, specifically 162 solar panels.

Disruption of a nationwide criminal network

The dismantling of this highly active criminal organisation, with extensive mobility across the entire country, marks a significant achievement. Moreover, their actions have caused substantial economic damage through the theft of valuable materials and the resulting harm to affected companies.

Ongoing investigation and legal proceedings

The Guardia Civil is diligently pursuing further leads to determine the potential involvement of the detainees in similar incidents throughout the country. The investigation was conducted by the Organised Crime Unit of Valladolid’s Judicial Police, and the detainees, along with the related evidence, have been handed over to the Valladolid Court of Investigation Number 3.

Also read: Solar panels in Spain: Everything you need to know before you invest

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