The leaders of a criminal gang who daily travelled to remote areas of northern Spain have been arrested as they were about to flee the country.

A report published on Friday, January 12, detailed how the Guardia Civil apprehended a criminal gang notorious for burglarising homes in rural northern Spain.

Their base was in Barcelona, and their crime spree included at least 145 break-ins across Aragon, La Rioja, Castilla y Leon, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia. The gang’s downfall occurred at El Prat airport, Barcelona, where the two ringleaders were caught attempting to escape.

This sophisticated group, now dismantled thanks to the Guardia Civil’s ‘Dump’ operation, had mastered the art of stealing jewellery, cash, and other valuables.

They had stolen items worth over €600,000, alongside tools such as a device to silence dogs, a touchstone for gold purity testing, and a diamond detector.

Based in Barcelona, the perpetrators embarked on extensive journeys to target remote towns, spanning 300 to 400 kilometres. Their methods involved three to four daily burglaries, shifting between provinces and ultimately retreating to Barcelona.

Operating mainly during afternoons and nights, they would breach homes by forcing doors or windows and swiftly ransacking them. Their loot primarily consisted of jewellery and cash, though electronics and other valuables were also targeted.

The gang was split into two factions. One took care of on-ground operations, while the other provided logistical support. This structure, coupled with continuous vehicle swaps and member rotations, was designed to confound tracking and confuse investigative efforts.

In an unanticipated twist, the Guardia Civil’s investigation led to the discovery of the group’s leaders at El Prat airport, intending to leave Spain with the stolen items.

This pivotal moment it led to further raids and arrests, culminating in 11 individuals apprehended and nine others under investigation for a staggering 145 home burglaries.

The value of the recovered items surpasses €600,000, and the suspects face charges of burglary and criminal organization membership.

The Huesca Court of First Instance and Instruction No. 2 oversees the investigation, resulting in the provisional imprisonment of four suspects, with the remainder released on charges.

This operation, led by the Huesca Judicial Police Unit of the Guardia Civil, has also produced a photographic catalogue of the recovered jewellery and valuables and an online link to reunite victims with their stolen items.