Spanish police arrest 13 members of specialised burglary gang

by Lorraine Williamson
gang arrested

In a significant breakthrough, the Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional have apprehended 13 individuals who are part of a highly organised criminal group specialising in forceful robberies.

The investigations were initiated following a series of three burglaries committed over a single weekend at industrial estates in the province of Valencia.

Expansion to other regions

The detained individuals have also been linked to robberies targeting businesses in Madrid, Seville, and Toledo, besides the incidents in the province of Valencia. The evidence supports their involvement in a wide range of criminal activities across various regions.

Significant financial losses

Among the crimes attributed to the organisation, the burglaries carried out in the towns of Paterna and Xirivella caused an estimated economic loss of nearly €700,000. Moreover, the financial impact of these incidents highlights the severity of their criminal activities.

Operation Constanza-Mestalla

The joint operation, known as Constanza-Mestalla, was conducted by the Guardia Civil in collaboration with the Policia Nacional. Their coordinated efforts led to the successful arrest of 13 individuals suspected of being part of this highly organised criminal group specialised in breaking into warehouses and businesses. The gang primarily gained access to the premises through tunneling techniques and employed sophisticated methods to crack safes.

Also read: Violent pharmacy robberies arrests

Cogesa Expats

Origins of the investigation

The investigations were initiated after a series of three forceful burglaries occurred in industrial estates of the Valencia province over a single weekend. Through careful analysis, it was determined that these crimes were executed by the same criminal group based in Madrid. The members of this group had numerous police records for similar offenses. Additionally, their involvement in robberies across various provinces, including Toledo, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Cantabria, Teruel, Granada, Burgos, Madrid, Seville, and Toledo, was also confirmed.

Well organised and specialised

The group operated exclusively during nighttime, with a strict distribution of roles. These roles included logistics (such as acquiring fake identification documents or renting vehicles), surveillance, planning, driving, and, finally, experts in the technique of “rififi” or rooftop entry through tunneling methods and rappelling.

High level of specialisation

Their level of specialisation was further evident in their use of proxies to rent vehicles for the robberies, the acquisition of forged documents to facilitate their crimes and hinder investigations, their expertise in disabling geolocation devices in stolen vans and trucks, as well as their extensive network of receivers to dispose of the large quantities of stolen goods. Among the eight robberies attributed to the group, the two committed in the Valencian towns of Paterna and Xirivella resulted in significant losses. The stolen items, electronic cigarettes, and food products, respectively, were valued at nearly €700,000.

Successful arrest operation

After identifying the entire group and gathering substantial evidence of their involvement in the robberies, the authorities conducted two phases of arrests. The first phase took place in mid-May, resulting in the detention of seven individuals. The second phase occurred in early June, leading to the arrest of six more members of the criminal group. Significant amounts of cash and tools used for opening safes were also seized during the operation.


Charges and criminal offenses

The detainees are facing charges related to 28 criminal offenses, including forceful burglaries, document forgery, and participation in a criminal organisation.

Also read: ATM robberies gangs arrested

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