The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal group dedicated to the extraction of copper
Nine people have been arrested who are attributed the responsibility of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, robbery with force and damage and three people responsible for scrap yards in Murcia have been investigated for the crime of reception
So far, more than twenty crimes have been clarified in Murcia, Alicante, Albacete and Pontevedra
The Civil Guard, within the framework of the Cobrecu-Memo20 operation, carried out in Murcia and Alicante, has proceeded to arrest 9 people belonging to a criminal group dedicated to the theft of copper. In addition, three other people, responsible for metal waste management centers, have been investigated for receiving stolen objects.
After the operation, so far the agents have clarified more than twenty criminal acts committed in Murcia, Alicante, Albacete and Pontevedra of which 17 correspond to the theft of copper cable and three to robberies with force in telephone shops, exceeding 100,000 euros the value of the stolen and the damage caused. Three receiving crimes have also been clarified.
The operation began at the beginning of the year after detecting several cases of robbery with force in the provinces of Murcia, Alicante and Albacete in which copper cable was stolen. These robberies took place in isolated areas where the perpetrators had previously been carrying out surveillance tasks and were perfectly aware of their characteristics, which allowed them to establish strong security measures and plan the hiding places for the stolen copper.
Continuing with the investigations, the agents were able to verify the existence of a structured, hierarchical criminal group based in Murcia, where its leader, in addition to directing its illegal actions, personally carried out all the planning tasks.
Due to its modus operandi, it was verified that the criminal group was perfectly synchronized and that its members had all the knowledge, means, logistics and experience necessary to carry out this type of criminal act.
Climbs to steal the copper
Once the possibility of committing the robbery had been determined, the members of the group climbed up the poles – using climbers – until they reached the height where the cables are, about 5 or 6 meters, where they cut at the ends of the section they planned to remove. .
When the necessary security conditions were met to continue with the execution of the robbery, after cutting the wiring, they pulled each end until they were able to unhook the entire section.
When the wiring was on the ground, they used nearby locations, which had previously been located, to temporarily hide their loot and thus avoid being surprised. After a few days, they would collect it and transport it with large vehicles to other isolated areas where the wiring was burned – a common process to separate the copper wire from its plastic wrap. Finally, the copper was illegally traded in scrap yards in the Murcian municipality.
Although the operation was initiated by the commission of theft of copper cabling, as the investigation progressed, the agents were able to determine that the members of the group were also specialized in committing robberies with force by the butron method in telephone shops, where in a short space of time they stole a large number of terminals that, later, they sold both in shops selling second-hand products and to individuals.
After locating all the members of the criminal group, the agents proceeded to enter and search a property in the Murcian capital where most of the suspects resided. The search resulted in the seizure of five vehicles and a large number of tools used in the development of criminal activity, as well as the recovery of a large number of mobile phone terminals and tablets allegedly stolen.
Likewise, three inspections were carried out in metal waste management centers – junkyards – in the municipality of Murcia, in which the criminal group allegedly illegally traded the stolen copper.
The operation has been carried out by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the 5th Zone (Murcia) and the ROCA Team (against robberies in the field) of Torrevieja (Alicante), which have had the support of other units of the Civil Guard.
The detainees, the effects recovered and the proceedings carried out have been made available to the Investigating Court of Orihuela (Alicante).
For more information, you can contact the Murcia Civil Guard Peripheral Communication Office on 968 242 746 or 618007249.