Crime warning as Brits in Spain targeted for iPhones and jewellery by violent burglars



POLICE on the Costa Blanca have arrested a gang of violent teenage burglars who specialised in targeting British expats and left a pensioner injured when he confronted the intruders.

The criminals waited till their victims left their homes for an early dinner before breaking in and stealing money and valuables including watches and mobile phones.

But the last of their estimated 15 raids ended in their detentions after they assaulted a 70-year-old Brit who caught them red-handed.

They hid in undergrowth near the property in Orihuela Costa on the Costa Blanca after one of the youngsters hit him and pushed him to the ground, but were tracked down by police told their haul included the owner’s mobile who used the "Find My iPhone" app to locate them.

The four youths held by police are all Spanish and include two minors.

A local police source in Orihuela said: “Most of their estimated 12 to 15 suspected victims are British.

“They took advantage of the fact they have dinner earlier than Spaniards and would wait till they had gone out around 7pm to have something to eat before breaking in and and stealing money and other valuables.

“They were arrested after the emergency services were alerted to an incident at a property on a private estate in Orihuela Costa.

“The suspects had broken into a house where a family was still inside.

“The man confronted them and was punched and pushed to the ground.

“He told officers they had stolen mobile phones, watches and money and that because they were iPhones, he could track them down.

“Using a tablet police identified the area they were in, surrounded them and arrested them. They were hidden in undergrowth among trees on some waste ground.

“The suspects had smashed the mobiles using stones but had not managed to disable them completely.”