The Spanish Police have reported that they have arrested a gang of criminals from Eastern Europe who allegedly robbed homes in their southern Malaga province. Six total people were arrested on Wednesday, including the alleged ring leader from Albania. Along with the arrests, authorities found stashes of jewelry, watches, cash, and weapons. The gang is presumed to have carried out 71 break-ins, primarily in Marbella.
Police say the robbers were incredibly skilled at break-ins, using their previous military experience to practice surveillance as well as bypassing any security measures on the homes or businesses.
Police claimed that some of the break-ins were violent, while others occurred while no one was around. The ringleader was always carrying a pistol and was believed to be an expert in boarding vessels and counter-surveillance.
The difficulty in tracking and catching the gang came from strict personal security and the counter-surveillance measures employed by their leader. The arrests come after cooperation between national and local police.
Spain has been using the EU and local police to track down and arrest gangs wanted for a broad variety of criminal activities. The drug trade was a primary point of crackdown for police, as they have arrested dozens across the nation involved in drug trafficking rings since last year. An arrest made in September of last year led to 197 arrests and the seizure of 5 tons of cocaine, 2 tons of hashish, and 1.3 tons of marijuana.
Police have targeted critical members of criminal organizations when making arrests so that they can cripple the organization instead of being able to immediately replace lost members.
The police will likely continue to ramp up their efforts to remove gangs from their streets. The cooperation between the EU and local departments has assisted in the task of monitoring and eventually catching many gang members.