Wave of burglaries plagues shopkeepers and hospitality entrepreneurs in Estepona

by Lorraine Williamson
Estepona burglaries

Several burglaries in a row at shops and catering establishments in Estepona have caused concern and unrest among business owners. In recent weeks, at least a dozen burglaries have been committed, according to sources. Some of them in businesses in the city centre, but also beyond.

Last weekend, thieves tried to break into five businesses in Estepona. According to the victims, there have been at least a dozen robberies in recent weeks. In most cases, the robbers gained access – or tried to do so – by smashing the windows of the shops or catering establishments. In other cases, they also gained access by breaking open doors.

Burglars active from February

This wave of thefts began in February, according to the victims. And hasn’t stopped since. According to police sources, there is almost no week without new thefts in the early hours of the morning, which keeps the city’s shopkeepers and hoteliers on alert. Last weekend alone, thieves reportedly tried to break into five places.

Suspects

It appears that the alleged thieves have already been arrested several times and have been clearly identified. However, they return to crime once they are released. The unrest among shopkeepers has led the National Police to reinforce its troops, which have a group dedicated exclusively to the prosecution of these thefts, as police sources have confirmed.

Last month, five suspects, aged between 17 and 45, were arrested. They were suspected of involvement in at least five of the robberies at shops in Estepona. Two of them were remanded in custody and three others were released.

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Recent burglaries

Early Thursday morning, an attempt was made to break into a phone shop. Although the thieves did not succeed, they did cause significant damage to the window of the shop in Calle del Cid. Because the alarm went off, they couldn’t get in, says the owner. This is the fifth time her business has been broken into since it opened six years ago, she says. Fortunately, she adds, none of the thefts were as serious as the first. Then the thieves made off with about €5,000. “I never heard from that money again, but that’s where I learned my lesson: don’t leave anything of value behind and make sure you have a good security system,” she says.

Another place that has been frequented by thieves in recent days was a restaurant on Avenida España. There, the alarm did not go off, and the owner was surprised by the shattered window the next morning.

The next night, from Sunday to Monday, it was the turn of a clothing store, also located on Avenida España. The loot was a €10 note and some loose coins.

Fixed procedure for burglaries

The method of the thieves is often the same. They come in between half past eleven and midnight, break down the windows and head straight for the cash register, with which they flee. It all happens in a few seconds. In many cases, the owners now leave the cash drawer empty on the floor, so thieves can see that there is no money inside.

The victims, like the other shopkeepers and restaurateurs, stress the importance of the police presence in Estepona at night to deter thieves before breaking into a business again.

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