Officers from the National Police have dismantled a criminal group allegedly dedicated, among other criminal offences, to the robbery of gas stations in Estepona (Málaga).
Specifically, two assaults on gas stations in the town are attributed to the network, in addition to four robberies with force in establishments and the theft of two vehicles. As part of this operation, the Police have arrested four men, between 21 and 34 years of age, considered by investigators to be active and extremely violent. The investigation has concluded with the arrest of all the members of this network in a local bar when they were planning a new coup. The competent judicial authority has ordered the imprisonment of all those under investigation.
A shot to the ceiling, inside a gas station
The first of the assaults took place on 11 December, around 9:00 p.m., shortly before the closure of a gas station in Estepona. The police received a call alerting them that four hooded people with firearms had entered the establishment, one of them firing a shot at the ceiling. After frightening the workers, the assailants took charge of the collection of the cash register. The initial investigations revealed that the individuals used a stolen car in the same town the previous day for the coup.
Five days after the initial robbery, a new robbery took place. The authors, who carried firearms and had the same characteristics as in the initial incident, managed to flee on a motorcycle stolen in another robbery at a driving school in Estepona, in November.
As a result of the meticulous steps taken by the agents, they were able to relate both events, planned and executed by the same criminal organisation, as well as identify its members, who had an extensive criminal history.
They were planning a new coup when they were surprised in a bar
The police operation was precipitated when, during the investigation, the members of the group were detected in a bar, while they were planning the upcoming assault on another establishment. The agents at that time proceeded to arrest four men as alleged perpetrators of two robberies, some of them offering great resistance to arrest.
Finally, the investigation concluded with four searches in homes, in which, among other effects, one of the firearms used in the robberies, 3,000 euro in cash and numerous effects -such as clothing- that related them to both robberies with violence were seized. In addition, with the dismantling of this organisation, it has been possible to clarify the two robberies, four robberies in establishments and two vehicle thefts.
The detainees were made available to the judicial authority as allegedly responsible for the crimes of robbery with violence, theft of use of a motor vehicle, illegal possession of weapons, violation of sentence, crimes against road safety and belonging to a criminal organisation. All of them have entered prison.