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Officers from the Guardia Civil have dismantled a group of robbers who would prey on innocent tourists along the A-7 motorway as it passes through Valencia, Castellón and Alicante.

Eight people have been arrested, and two others are under investigation, all aged between 25 and 32 and or Romanian nationality, accused of being involved in a criminal organisation that would commit robbery with force, violence, theft and false documentation.

Three raids were carried out in homes in Castellón where 6,635 euro, 2,550 pounds and 1,140 dirhams have been recovered, along with 11 high-end vehicles, 25 wristwatches, 15 suitcases, 17 bags, different pieces of Jewellery, 9 pairs of sunglasses, and 20 mobile phones.

Using their high-powered vehicles, the gang specialised in taking items from the interior of vehicles in service areas. Normally, they chose open, easily accessible car parks where would pick mostly elderly people and vehicles with foreign registration that were passing through.

One of the members would distract the victims by asking them for a place or an address while another member of the gang would open the door of the vehicle and remove the objects they had spotted inside.

On at least one occasion, the victim clung to a bag being stolen and was dragged several metres by the fleeing gang´s vehicle. On other occasions, they took advantage of the fact that the victim was sleeping inside the vehicle and would break the windows intending that fragments of glass would land on the victim, at which time they stole the effects.

It is also recorded that the same gang committed two robberies on the same person in a space of 20 minutes. This occurred in the service area of ​​Sagunto (Valencia), when a woman of foreign origin, along with her daughter, stopped their vehicle in order to rest, when the gang took advantage and stole the luggage from the interior of the vehicle. Whilst the victim was contacting the Guardia Civil for assistance, other members of the gang smashed the windows of the vehicle in order to remove another bag.

The gang will now appear before the courts in Valencia to be dealt with.

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