Barcelona: 27 held for robbing watches from tourists
Madrid: Twenty-seven thieves were arrested by police on Monday for stealing and robbing luxury watches from tourists in the city of Barcelona in Spain.
Mossos d'Esquadra (the police force of Catalonia) in northeastern Spain, on Monday, confirmed the arrest of the 27 thieves of French and Belgian nationals, who were based in either London or Paris.
According to the police:
- The thieves would travel to Barcelona to commit their crimes and usually operate in four or five groups.
- The total value of the goods they stole or robbed, including watches worth between 500 and up to 120,000 euros, was estimated at over 310,000 euros ($347,240).
- These watches was then sold on the black market in either the Middle East countries or in countries of the north of the Maghreb.
- 14 of the thieves have been sent to prison to await trial, the remaining 13 have been released on charges.
- The thieves were usually able to steal watches without being detected, but if they were discovered, they would not hesitate to use violence in order to escape.
It may be mentioned that the tourists, who were either staying in luxury hotels or visiting bars, restaurants and nightclubs, were the main targets.
The thieves also looked for victims outside high-end establishments or jewelry stores in a bid to steal goods which were just purchased.