During a two month period, the number of thefts from rural homes and farms in the Guadalhorce area of Málaga province doubled, but a concerted police effort and 30 arrests have gradually brought the situation under control.
The thefts were mainly carried out by young people, often in groups of three or four, and the offenders were a mix of Spanish nationals and foreigners.
The robberies were crude and chaotic, the amount of damage being done often exceeding the value of the goods stolen. The thieves would break into homes or farms using crowbars or by smashing doors and once inside, would just grab anything that looked valuable or could be sold for scrap.
The thieves would often sell quite valuable pieces of machinery for a euro or two in what has been referred to as ‘subsistence theft’.
As more and more arrests were made, the number of robberies declined and they are now apparently back to what is considered a ‘normal’ level.