Dismantled a criminal group specialised in the theft of high voltage wiring on railways

The Guardia Civil, within the framework of Operation Feeder, has arrested six people in Barcelona, ​​thus completely dismantling a criminal group specialising in the theft of high voltage wiring on railways in various provinces.

The valuation of the damage caused rises to more than 360,000 euro. Likewise, these damages have produced more than 3 million euro in losses.

In addition to the economic losses directly related to the stolen materials, users are the last to suffer the consequences derived from these criminal acts that have caused train diversions, delays and station closures.

The investigations began in January 2022 and more than 30 crimes have been clarified, most of them in the so-called “Mediterranean Corridor”, a key infrastructure that constitutes the second most important railway axis in Spain.

The criminal organization was made up of six people, each with a very specific role. Four of them travelled to the place where they were going to rob, spending up to three days in the area before executing their plans, and the other two maintained telephone contact from Barcelona in real time while the events were taking place.

The four people who were physically involved in the robberies were separated and strategically placed, directly coordinating with their mobile devices. At one point, one of them, after breaking the perimeter fence, entered the electrical substations and, through a very specific and unique operation of this group, managed to disable one of the cables that provide the energy necessary for the operation of the trains (3,300 volts). This operation was carried out in such a way that the public business entity in charge of the Spanish railway network did not detect the lack of voltage.

At the same moment that the cable was without electrical tension, the other members of the group began their task. One of them rose to a height of about three metres and, with a tool made specifically for them, cut the 300mm section cable, throwing it onto the railway. Two other members began to roll it up and cut it into sections of about ten metres. Each linear metre of this type of cable weighs 2.8 kilograms, reaching more than 800 metres in the same event, that is, about 2,500 kilograms of load.

Once loaded into the vehicles, and in direct contact with the two members of the group who were in Barcelona, ​​they transported the loot in large-tonnage vehicles. On certain occasions, they hid the cargo in warehouses close to the events, proceeding days after its transfer and final sale.

The criminal group was based in the province of Barcelona, ​​where they had different logistical steps for the sale of the stolen material.

Once all the information had been analysed, the investigators determined the next objective of the organisation, which precipitated the last phase of the operation and the arrest of all the members in Barcelona.

The six members of the organisation have been arrested for belonging to a criminal organisation and as alleged perpetrators of 31 crimes of robbery with force, theft and use of motor vehicles, violation of sentence and continued crimes against road safety. All this occurred in the provinces of Gerona, Barcelona, ​​Tarragona, Lérida, Castellón and Valencia.

Three vehicles have been seized, all the mobile devices of the members of the group, as well as specific tools to commit the acts and clothing with which they pretended to be workers of different companies authorised to carry out work on the tracks.

The judicial investigation and coordination carried out by the Court of Instruction number 4 of Sagunto (Valencia) has concluded with the entry into prison for four of the detainees.

The operation has been carried out by the Heritage Team of the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil of Castellón.