The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, in the framework of the operation ‘Transformer’, has developed an investigation in the Campo de Cartagena to clarify the theft of agricultural transformers, which has resulted in the dismantling of a criminal group composed of seven people – five of them arrested and two investigated – who are attributed with the alleged perpetration of the crimes of robbery, theft and damage.
Following the operation, which is part of the ‘Plan against theft in agricultural or livestock farms’ and the ‘Plan against the theft of copper’, the Benemérita has clarified fifteen crimes against property committed on farms in the municipalities of Cartagena, Fuente Alamo and La Union, not ruled out that the criminal group now dismantled is behind the authorship of more criminal acts.
The actions began at the end of last year, when the Guardia Civil detected a notable increase in thefts of aerial agricultural transformers, copper cable for public lighting in power lines and thefts in other types of installations, such as photovoltaic plants, all committed in the municipalities of Cartagena, La Unión and Fuente Álamo, events that generated a certain amount of social alarm in the agricultural sector.
The civil guards of the ROCA Team (against thefts in the countryside) opened the corresponding operation to investigate the crimes committed with the aim of clarifying them and arresting the perpetrators. The first steps of the operation, carried out in the places where the crimes were committed with exhaustive technical-ocular inspections and other investigations, allowed the investigators to gather a large amount of evidence that allowed them to verify that a criminal group was behind the crimes investigated.
Shortly afterwards, the Guardia Civil identified several of the members of the criminal group and the main line of investigation into the suspects was established in order to dismantle it, identify all the perpetrators of the crimes and recover most of the stolen objects.
As a result of the investigation, the civil guards of the ROCA Team identified the rest of the members of the criminal group, seven in total, two of them minors, who were based in the municipalities of La Unión and Torre Pacheco.
During the investigation, the Benemérita was able to establish that behind the robberies was a criminal group in which each member had clearly defined functions. Some planned and carried out the crimes, others were in charge of selling the stolen objects and a third one put his personal documentation on the purchase invoices in different recycling centres, in order to camouflage the stolen copper as much as possible and try to prevent these irregularities from being detected by the investigators.
In addition, the Guardia Civil has verified that one of the members of the criminal group now dismantled is a worker in a scrap metal shop located in the town of Cartagena, who allegedly received the material knowing that it came from illegal sources.
Once all the necessary evidence had been obtained, the Guardia Civil set up a search operation for the suspects which has recently culminated in the location and arrest of the seven members of the criminal group, two of them minors, who have been arrested or investigated as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of robbery with force, theft and damage.
In the different actions carried out during the operation, the civil guards recovered a dismantled overhead agricultural transformer, four transformers in perfect condition – valued at approximately 50,000 euros – and different electrical wiring. All of this, after being placed at the disposal of the judicial authorities, has been handed over to its legitimate owners.
The exhaustive analysis of the information obtained during the investigation, so far as the operation is still open, has allowed to clarify and attribute to the criminal group now dismantled about fifteen crimes against property, committed on farms in Cartagena, Fuente Alamo and La Union.
The detainees, those under investigation, the effects seized and the proceedings have been placed at the disposal of the Magistrates’ Court of Cartagena and the Murcia Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office.