‘Fast and Furious’ Romanian gang suspected of high speed heists in Spain and Europe busted

Fast and Furious heist, Romania, Eurojust
Press release: Major action in Romania against thefts from driving trucks (10 March 2020)

Seventy-one people, including 10 in Spain, have been arrested for a series of Fast and Furious-style heists from moving trucks.

The Romanian gang are suspected of stealing from moving trucks whose drivers were unaware of the crime.

Police say the criminals specialized in the high-speed crimes that targeted vehicles on motorways across Europe and netted 10 million euros worth of stolen goods, including laptops, mobile phones and televisions.

The thefts which were meticulously planned, could have come straight from a movie screen.

Gang members worked in teams of four cars. The lead vehicle would start to drive slowly in front of the lorry while two other cars held up following traffic, Eurojust said on Tuesday.

A fourth car would then drive up close behind the truck. One of the criminals would climb out of the car’s sunroof onto the bonnet and break open the lock on the lorry.

The loot would then either be transferred to their vehicle, or thrown on the side of the road to be picked up later. The driver and other road-users were often oblivious to what was happening. .

An unprecedented law enforcement operation involving five countries was launched in 2016. Code-named ‘ARROW’, it was coordinated by Europol.

The latest phase of the operation resulted in the arrest of 37 members of the highly professional criminal syndicate in Romania, with support from Spain, France, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands. Seventy-three house searches were carried out.

The stolen goods were worth 1.6 million euros, Eurojust said.

In 2016 and 2017, the organized criminal group  stole goods from at least nine driving trucks, in Romania, Spain and The Netherlands with one failed attempt.

Another heist too place on a lorry that was traveling on a ferry from Sweden to Finland, and the driver was not present. Most of the goods were sold in Romania, and with some equipment recovered.


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