The modus operandi is not new, but it continues to wreak havoc on the most vulnerable people: the elderly. Agents of the Generalitat Police-Mossos d'Esquadra of the Investigation Unit of the Sants-Montjuïc police station have dismantled a criminal group that posed as gas inspectors to steal money and valuables from the elderly. There are eight people in custody who have been released with charges. Those investigated have been able to prove at least 14 crimes of theft, violent robbery and fraud, in addition to belonging to a criminal group.
The investigation has shown that the detainees selected victims over 80 years of age and who lived alone. After a phone call, they usually went to his home under the pretext of a gas check. Once inside the apartment, one of the members of the group - now arrested - entertained the victim while the other tried to find money, jewelry or bank cards.
The group is made up of four men and four women: first they obtained the personal data of their potential victims and then hatched their plan. They began by meeting in a place close to the houses where they planned to commit a crime and then made calls to the victim to make an appointment in a few minutes under the pretext of doing the inspection. They were divided into teams of two, always a man and a woman, and they began the route through various buildings.
The targets of the criminals were always the same: cash, jewelry, and credit cards or savings books. They did not hesitate to intimidate the victims to obtain the PIN for the card or book and to use violence if they did not provide it. Apart from what they could take from the apartment, when they appropriated cards or notebooks, they later carried out fraudulent banking operations to empty the accounts. They closed the criminal circuit with the sale of jewelry to third parties.
Investigators have been able to prove up to 14 crimes between December 2021 and May 2023, although most have been committed this year. In total, those arrested committed six violent robberies and seven thefts, in addition to one attempted robbery. In the set of subsequent robberies and scams, those investigated managed to appropriate various jewels and money, both in cash and obtained with the card or book, for a total value of 51,733 euros.
On May 30, the police device was launched that ended with the arrest of eight members of the group. During the operation, money, clothing, accessories, jewelry and documents were seized.