A joint operation by the Guardia Civil and the National Police caught a gang of armed, masked men who were guilty of thefts from twenty petrol stations in the Vega Baja and Baix Vinalopó areas during recent months.
The operation was launched by members of the Civil Guard and Specialist and Violent Crime Unit (UDEV) of the National Police at Elche It ended with the arrest of four suspects, one in Bigastro and the remainder in the municipalities of La Union Murcia and Cieza. In addition to the twenty petrol stations, the four were involved in various house break ins.
The National Police and Civil Guard kept track of this band of robbers after registering numerous robberies in similar circumstances at service stations before Christmas. In most cases the gang used shotguns to intimidate employees. They always wore face masks and within a few minutes of entering the premises, fled with the money. The latest assaults were committed earlier this year in Orihuela and Elche.
After a wave of such robberies, the Civil Guard were able to identify the suspects and gave chase. The criminals eventually abandoned their car on a road of Vega Baja and fled into the countryside. The vehicle contained some of the weapons used in the attacks and gave the police clues as to the identity of the thieves.
Yesterday, the Civil Guard, closed Calle San Pascual in Bigastro from 7am in order to search an apartment block where they arrested a foreign national – one of the four in the gang.