Two organizations specialized in stealing luxury SUVs in less than 29 seconds dismantled in Malaga

There are nine people arrested – all of them have entered prison – among which are two of the largest European specialists in car theft

Stolen vehicles were sold to drug dealers seated in the Campo de Gibraltar and other groups that, after falsifying their documentation, resold them abroad

The network had several garages in towns in Malaga where they hid the tools and the latest electronic devices used for theft

The investigation has allowed, so far, to attribute the theft of 15 vehicles and the recovery of seven high-end SUVs

Civil Guard and National Police agents, in a joint operation, have arrested nine people and have broken up two criminal groups specialized in the theft of high-end off-road vehicles. Allegedly, those arrested stole the vehicles for later sale to drug trafficking organizations in the Campo de Gibraltar and other criminal groups that resold them abroad after falsifying their documentation. The criminal organization, based in the province of Malaga, had different buildings as infrastructure to hide the tools and devices used in the commission of the illicit.

There are nine people arrested – of Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian and Lithuanian nationality and between the ages of 21 and 55 – as allegedly responsible for the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, theft with force and forgery. Among those arrested are two individuals considered as two of the largest specialists in European car theft, with the ability to steal a vehicle in less than 29 seconds. Seven stolen cars have been recovered in urbanizations in the provinces of Huelva, Malaga and Madrid and numerous electronic equipment and specific tools for vehicle theft have been intervened, as well as a semi-automatic pistol, various ammunition, fake plates of Forces and Security Forces of the State, a police sparkle launcher and numerous virgin keys, among other effects.

Important organization of illegal traffic of vehicles

Police investigations began in mid-April 2019, after a rebound in the number of robberies of luxury vehicles in the provinces of Madrid and Malaga. The first information allowed to conclude that after these events one of the most important criminal organizations dedicated to the illicit traffic of vehicles could be found, composed entirely of individuals who had reorganized themselves after leaving prison.
Investigations determined that this criminal organization was established in a stable manner in Malaga, although its members temporarily moved to different parts of the Spanish geography to commit criminal acts, mainly to Madrid and the Huelva town of Lepe. They especially chose the neighborhoods of luxury urbanizations where a large number of off-road vehicles are concentrated.
All these research efforts gave their first results with the identification and arrest of two members of the organization when they stole two high-end vehicles in the Madrid districts of Hortaleza and Chamartín. Subsequently, three garages were used in Estepona, La Caleta de Vélez and Algarrobo, all of them garages that were used to hide stolen vehicles and the effects they used for the events. Of particular importance was the garage located in Algarrobo, rented with false documentation, where a vehicle valued at 180,000 euros was recovered. The investigations focused on this place allowed us to find out that the organization under investigation was behind.
From this finding, it was found that the organization had changed its way of acting. Initially they used rental vehicles as support and, after the subtraction, let the vehicles cool on public roads. Subsequently, they went on to use stolen cars and rent garages.
After establishing criminal links in demarcations of the Civil Guard, a joint investigation was initiated and a connection was found with individuals from other nations – Lithuania, Italy and Spain – and the investigation was extended to the province of Huelva, with theft of vehicles attributable to the organization.
Focused on the objectives, an operation was established that resulted in the arrest of two members in mid-November in the Malaga town of Villafranco de Guadalhorce and two others in Lepe (Huelva). Four household registries are carried out in which a large amount of computer and electronic material is involved, as well as specific tools for vehicle theft, duplicate switchboards, keys, frequency inhibitors and signal detectors, among others.
In total, during the two phases of the investigation, nine people have been arrested and seven vehicles have been recovered. They have been intervened with a firearm and ammunition, numerous tools such as clone locks, a new autonomous refueling system, inhibitors of all types of frequencies, geolocation devices, fake keys and key clones, among other effects.
The detainees have been placed at the disposal of the judicial authority, who has ordered the imprisonment of all of them


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