It’s horrible to know it happens, but I’ve reported even on this website about incidents of violent robbery, and so it’s all the more important to report when police have a signal success in fighting it. On this occasion the Guardia Civil, working with the violent crimes Grupo de Reserva y Seguridad, has arrested nine people in an operation – codenamed Astron – that has been going on for some months to catch a gang of thieves who have been operating in south Tenerife and whose characteristic method was the extreme violence with which they committed their burglaries.
They typically burgled houses which had been watched for some time and where the inhabitants were known to be inside, usually asleep. They would gain access via windows or balconies and gag and tie the residents, who were naturally terrorised, often being awoken by being beaten in order to obtain information about any money and jewellery on the premises. On some occasions victims have needed hospital treatment; on one occasion the victim had organ failure. On all occasions there was lasting psychological damage.
Eight of the thieves were arrested in Tenerife, the ninth in Lanzarote: in Tenerife arrests were carried out in San Isidro, El Fraile, Porís de Abona, and San Miguel. Weapons and cash were also seized. Three of those arrested have been remanded in custody. Police say the operation continues because it is clear that the detainees have further crimes to be resolved, and that they believe they have put a clear stop to such violent burglaries – a comment that is highly suggestive of their confidence that all such crimes were committed by this one gang.