They chose their victims, usually foreign tourists, and used deception to steal their belongings.
National Police officers attached to the Border Post of Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport have dismantled a criminal organisation made up of three people, all men, born in Kosovo and aged between 33 and 49, who belonged to a group specialising in thefts carried out inside the airport facilities.
The investigation began after the agents received several complaints from foreign citizens whose belongings had been stolen from the airport car parks. All of these incidents had a common link: they occurred when they were renting a vehicle or when they put their belongings inside the rented car.
The suspects prowled around the arrivals area of the airfield looking for vulnerable victims in order to take their belongings, pretending to be travellers with backpacks and bags. They also used wigs, caps and other accessories in order to hide their identity or at least make it difficult to identify them later, according to the National Police in a statement.
The proceedings confirmed that there was a clear division of roles among the members of the group. Thus, while one of the members carried out the work of the hook, entertaining the victims, another was in charge of carrying out the robbery and the last one was in charge of facilitating the escape, which was carried out in rented vehicles.
The agents managed to identify all the members of the group in question and activated a special police operation that they set up inside the airport passenger arrivals area and the vehicle parking area.
As a result of this operation, the suspects were arrested ‘in fraganti’ in the airport area, mixed with passengers, when they were allegedly watching a victim to perpetrate a new robbery. At the time of the arrest, the agents found that in the boot of the vehicle that one of them was driving, he was carrying numerous items of used clothing that they allegedly normally used to change clothes after committing the criminal act. Several caps of different colours and a wig were also found, all of which were used to avoid being recognised and hinder the investigation.
The police officers assigned to the Airport Police Station have cleared up half a dozen thefts attributed to the arrestees, who have also been charged with several offences of robbery with force, document forgery and illegal residence, as one of them had a ban on entering national territory imposed by Swiss authorities.
From the police records of the detainees, it was clear that they were an itinerant organised group, specialised in theft, who moved throughout the national territory. They have all been handed over to the Examining Magistrate’s Court in Elche.