Home NEWS Woman with Multiple Identities Arrested for Theft in Spain’s Costa Blanca

Woman with Multiple Identities Arrested for Theft in Spain’s Costa Blanca


A woman, who had three different identities to evade the authorities, has been apprehended in Alicante, Spain. She was wanted by 11 courts in various provinces, including Málaga, for her involvement in thefts targeting elderly victims through affectionate hugs.

In fact, this wasn’t her first encounter with the police, as she had been detained numerous times for similar offences. However, her criminal record extended beyond petty theft, with arrest warrants issued against her in Marbella, Vélez-Málaga, and Cádiz for property crimes committed between 2018 and 2020. Despite years on the run, the fugitive has been caught again.

Modus Operandi of the Thieves

Authorities have discovered that a group of thieves operates within the province, primarily in the Costa del Sol area. These criminals, predominantly women, blend in with the crowd by dressing like tourists. They target unsuspecting individuals, often tourists, in popular locations such as the historic centre and the vicinity of the Malaga port. The thieves employ a common tactic: one of them approaches a foreigner and skillfully opens the backpack on their back. They then extract the wallet, usually containing a significant amount of cash. Tourists, reluctant to file complaints, become easy targets for these delinquents, who seek to ensure their impunity.

Ongoing Theft Problem and Lack of Strategy

According to police sources, thefts in the historic centre, particularly in Plaza de la Marina, Plaza de la Aduana, Granada Street, and the surroundings of the Cathedral, occur continuously. Despite the frequency of these incidents, there is a lack of strategic planning to eradicate or at least control this phenomenon, as was done in the past with violent flower sellers. Administrative measures were taken against them, resulting in their disappearance due to significant interest and the serious approach taken by the authorities.

Detentions and Techniques

Local police, equipped with an extensive network of informants, have made multiple arrests of these thieves. For instance, in November of last year, a patrol of the Investigation and Protection Group (GIP) detained six women, aged between 18 and 42, within an hour for stealing from tourists in the centre of Malaga. In one case, the police officers recognized four repeat offenders, and one of them relinquished the stolen items upon realizing their presence. In another instance, two women, aged 20 and 45, were observed following a man with a bag. One of the thieves concealed her hand with clothing while the other acted as a lookout. When they noticed the police, they swiftly discarded the stolen items in a planter.

In addition to the backpack technique, another method employed by these thieves is the “affectionate hug.” Although less frequent, it has resulted in detentions. Typically, Romanian women seek out older men, giving them a hug or two while removing their chains or watches. These criminals operate across Europe but appear infrequently in Spain.

Evolution of Criminal Behavior and New Tactics

Local criminals have moved away from theft and robbery in the centre of Malaga, either due to increased police attention or because they have turned to other criminal activities. At the same time, the techniques employed by the thieves continue to evolve. In addition to traditional methods, investigators have identified a tactic known as the “stain.” This involves intentionally pouring a viscous substance, similar in appearance to bird excrement, on the victim. The perpetrator then offers assistance in cleaning the stain, which provides an opportunity to steal the victim’s bank cards and money.

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