Guardia Civil have arrested an Algerian man on suspicion of breaking into 20 homes, tealing three vehicles and falifying documents. In one of the burglaries, the intruder was surprised by a Norwegian couple inside their home, who he attacked with a defence spray so that he could get away.
After the suspect’s arrest, officers searched his home, where they seized jewellery, telephones, computer tablets and designer clothing that had been stolen in the robberies, templates for making false documentation, and various documents with different identities but all belonging to him.
During the search, they also recovered a vehicle that had been stolen in one of the robberies, which has now been returned to its rightful owner, along with several other items.
The burglaries were committed in urbanisations in Orihuela Costa, Torrevieja, Rojales and San Miguel de Salinas. Guardia Civil estimate that the stolen goods could have been worth up to €175,000 on the black market.
This arrest, which took place at the end of July, was part of the Guardia’s Operation ‘Rincón 14’ (Corner 14), which has so far cleared up a total of 50 robberies. The investigations took place during the months of June and July, after they noticed an increase in the number of homes being burgled, most of them tourist properties and mostly committed in the afternoons.
It seems that those responsible – further arrests have not been ruled out in the coming days, or that the suspect may be charged with more offences – go into the homes when the owners or occupants were at the beach, or even at the community swimming pool, in order to take small objects of value like cash, jewellery, telephones or tablets, as well as vehicles if they were parked outside.
To get into the properties, the thieves mostly used a method that involves slipping the lock off the catch, taking advantage when they had not been locked with a key.
The suspect was put at the disposition of Court of Instruction Nº1 in Orihuela, along with the confiscated property, so that people who have been burgled might be able to recover their belongings. The property will be on public display from 9am-2pm and 5pm-8pm in the Guardia Civil station in Pilar de la Horadada.