False Deaf-Mute Thieves

The Policía Local in Almuñécar want to put the town’s residents on alert over the presence of a gang of pick-pocket thieves that masquerade as deaf mutes and who have been operating in the town centre.

The gang consists of around ten members, all of Romanian nationality, who work in pairs or groups of three. Whilst one of their number distracts the victim, it is the accomplice who actually carries out the theft. Sometimes the person doing the distraction merely offers the victim lavender, rather than impersonating somebody with communication difficulties… and no we don’t mean George Bush impressions.

In response, both the Guardia Civil and Policía Local have laid on extra patrols to catch them.

“They pretend to be deaf-mutes, begging for money, but when the victim is busy searching for coins, the thief snatches the person’s wallet, purse or mobile telephone,” explained the local police chief, Manuel Ledesma.

The gang is not based in Almuñécar, however, according to the police, but operate from Granada, Motril or even as far away as Valencia. The police point out that it is hard to pin them down because if they stop them and find money on them, there is no way to prove that it is not their own – they have to be caught in the act, even though the police are well aware of their identities.

But it’s not only pedestrians that run the risk of being robbed, as one shop owner recounts, “They came in asking for something that was not on the shelves, but when I returned from the back-storeroom, it was to find them trying to force open the till…”

Finally, the police point out that the preferred victims are foreigners, as many don’t speak the language and thus are more disposed to stopping to try and understand what the person wants.

(News: Almuñécar, Costa Tropical, Andalucia)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *