The Guardia Civil has smashed an organised gang which has been roaming Majorca robbing empty rural properties and occupied luxury houses. A total of eleven people, ten Eastern Europeans and one Italian, were arrested in the operation and police have recovered a haul of stolen goods, including jewellery, mobile telephones and other valuable items and large amounts of cash in various currencies. The criminal gang centred much of its activities in Calvia, Andratx and Arenal, but the thieves have also struck in Calla Millor and Pollensa. Although police are currently holding the ten men and a woman, aged between 18 and 44, the Guardia Civil is not ruling out further arrests over the next few days as they wrap up their investigations in to the island-wide break-ins and robberies. The gang used a fleet of four hire cars to move about the island and where houses were occupied, the thieves would break in and rob the properties while the occupants were asleep. The Guardia Civil were first made aware of the gang's activities at the end of June and a huge island-wide operation swung into action. The Eastern Europeans were eventually traced to a hostal in Arenal and apartments in Santa Ponsa and Calvia. On Sunday, August 19, the police launched the final phase of their operation and simultaneously raided the three properties used by the gang. Millions of pesetas worth of stolen credit cards, cameras, video cameras and identification documents were found at each of the three addresses and yesterday police chiefs called on the general public to help in identifying and rounding up the rest of the gang, who may have gone in to hiding. According to the police, none of the 11 suspects have criminal records in Spain, but they also suspect that each of the 11 are carrying false passports. During the raids, police also confiscated boxes of tools believed to have been used in the break ins, such as screw drivers and pocket torches. Police chiefs said yesterday that they are dealing with an extremely well organised criminal gang which knew how to trip alarm systems. All of the owners of properties targeted by the gang are extremely grateful to the Guardia Civil because a large number of stolen items have been recovered including a crucifix on a chain which belongs to a German businessman robbed while on holiday at a luxury villa in Majorca. This is however not the first time the Gurdia Civil have smashed organised gangs preying on luxury Majorcan properties during the summer. Members of an Eastern European gang were arrested two summers ago after a crime wave swept across the North East and East of the island.

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