Officers from the Guardia Civil in San Juan, Alicante, have arrested five men for allegedly stealing bicycles from local residents and delivering them to a distributor for shipment on the ferry to Algeria.

Those arrested established a surveillance network and storage rooms in garages in order to commit the thefts, as reported by the Guardia Civil in a statement. Specifically, the suspects watched several parts of the town and its surroundings, including the city of Alicante, and took note of cyclists who rode a bicycle of acceptable quality, then followed them.

When the thieves discovered where the cyclists lived, they continued their surveillance to ascertain patterns of movement in order to choose the right moment to enter the property and steal the bikes.

First they forcibly enter storage rooms or garages, and once they had the bike in their possession, passed it onto a van to move it directly to the distributor, said to be of African origin, in Alicante, who would buy them for a much lower price than the real value and ship them on the ferry directly to their customers in Algeria.

The investigations concluded that the three alleged perpetrators of the thefts were acting on behalf of the distributor, since the items were provided specifically to the requirements of the end purchaser.

In addition to the bicycles, on one occasion they stole a motorbike from Mutxamel in Alicante, which was recovered with fake number plates. In another they stole a bike using violence and pushed the owner to the ground.

Officers recovered a number of bikes and arrested five men: three Spaniards aged 32, 37 and 37, a Bulgarian aged 33 and a Moroccan aged 31, all suspected of at least 43 crimes.

As a result of this case, officers would like to raise awareness once more of the importance of recording serial numbers and identifying characteristics bicycles, as well as taking photographs, in order to make them identifiable in the case of theft.

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