MURCIA – In a significant breakthrough, the Guardia Civil and the local police in Cehegín, Murcia, have apprehended two individuals for their involvement in over 80 thefts from the municipal cemetery. The thieves targeted bronze and copper ornaments, with an estimated value of €50,000, from family niches in the cemetery.
The spree of thefts had plagued the Cehegín community for months. The thefts left 80 gravesites damaged and bereaved families distressed by the loss of their loved ones’ memorial pieces. Metal vases, crucifixes, and various religious symbols were meticulously dismantled by the criminals which they intended to sell on later.
The investigation, dubbed ‘Operation Catacomb,’ commenced in September following multiple complaints from local residents. The Guardia Civil and local police diligently pursued leads, aiming to both recover the stolen items and apprehend the culprits responsible for these heartless acts.
Within a week of intensive investigation, law enforcement officers scoured metal recycling centres, scrapyards, and salvage yards. Eventually they discovered the majority of the stolen artifacts in a metal trading establishment located in Caravaca de la Cruz. These findings provided crucial leads that led to the identification and subsequent arrest of the suspects.
Stolen copper and bronze ornaments worth €50,000 recovered
The arrested individuals, aged 33 and 39, were already known to police for previous theft-related offenses. They now face charges of 80 counts of robbery with forced entry and damages, collectively valued at nearly €50,000. Although a portion of the stolen pieces has been recovered, the investigation remains ongoing. Authorities are still striving to retrieve the remaining items to ensure justice for the victims.
Local authorities commend the community’s cooperation and encourage residents to remain vigilant, reinforcing the significance of community engagement in maintaining the safety and security of public spaces.
As the investigation continues, the Guardia Civil and the local police express their commitment to bringing all those involved in these reprehensible acts to justice, ensuring peace of mind for the affected families and upholding the sanctity of the cemetery, a place of solace and remembrance for the community.
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