Bank robbers dressed in ghost outfits to blow up ATM machines
Police in Spain have busted a violent gang which raided banks and blew up cash machines dressed in fancy dress costumes!
Six people were arrested following raids on the Costa del Sol, including Malaga, and also in Seville, Cadiz and Jaén.
Wearing masks and the bizarre ghost-like disguises, the robbers blasted ATM machines using acetylene gas and escaping with huge wads of cash.
“They used the costumes to avoid being identified through any CCTV cameras,” said a spokesman for the Spanish police.
The outifts were discovered in three houses and a rented storeroom where the gang also stashed specialist tools, gas cyclinders, car batteries, metal rods, computers, telephones and cash.
They also found a wad of false documents, such as passports, driving licences and identity cards from different countries.
An investigation was launched by police in various parts of Spain following a series of robberies in which the ATM cash machines were blown up in the same way.
Police were convinced the same gang was at work and managed to link DNA to one of the suspects who was involved in a vicious bank robbery in Cadiz. Four men, two armed with guns, the other with a large knife, burst into the branch in Jerez de la Frontera, tied up a member of staff and threatened customers.
“These robbers were dressed in very distinctive costumes and masks and acted very quickly,” said the spokesman. “They waited for a time until the bank was relatively empty and then struck, threatening anyone inside and making off with the loot before the police could arrive.”
The same costumes were used in at least eight ATM robberies across Spain.
At one stage, said the police spokesman, three members of the ring were arrested in Portugal but the leader later regrouped, bring in new people from Chile and turning their attention to bank machine explosions instead.
The gang used rented vehicles for their getaway, often changing the licence plates.
Police said the robberies involved explosions caused by devices which used rods inserted into car batteries as the detonators.
They would then use all types of equipment,such as knives, shears, screwdrivcers and chisels, to prize open the ATMs and escape with the cash.