iPhones, gold necklaces, luxury watches looted by ‘Romanian pickpocketing ring’ that targeted elderly Spanish citizens

Jewlery, watches, phones stolen by pickpocketing ring. Credit: Policia Nacional
Jewelry, watches, phones, stolen by pickpocketing ring. Credit: Policia Nacional

Dozens of iPhones, expensive watches, rings, earrings, bracelets and gold necklaces are laid out on a table on a dark cloth, as if they are for sale or up for auction.

But the items are in fact loot stolen by thieves from mainly elderly Spanish citizens which were recovered by Spanish police.

Spanish and Romanian police arrested 42 people this week who are suspected of operating a huge pickpocketing and crime network across Europe that netted them 1 million euros.

Thieves also laundered money and stole luxury cars (which aren’t seen in photos taken by Spanish Policia Nacional and sent to universul.net), Eurojust said in a statement.

The suspects, some of them Romanian, used the so-called ‘necklace trick,’ where they approached mainly vulnerable, elderly persons and asked them for directions or help. 

Then as a way of ‘thanking’ their victims, they embraced them and simultaneously removed their watches or jewelry, before jumping into a getaway car. The suspects occasionally used violence when victims resisted.

It was not clear how many of the suspects are Romanian.

Eurojust is the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, which helps coordinate cooperation between national investigating and prosecuting authorities.

 Europol provided analytical information for the investigation. The Spanish Policia Nacional worked with the Ialomita office of the Directorate of Investigation Organized Crime and Terrorism Offenses.

Phones and jewelry stolen by pickpocketing ring. Credit: Policia Nacional


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