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Couple arrested for “hug and kiss” distraction thefts 

Police have arrested a man and a woman believed to have been responsible for a number of “hug and kiss” robberies in Tenerife.

The 28-year-old woman and a man of the same age, both of Romanian nationality and with numerous police records, were caught in La Laguna.

The crimes happened in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) where they stole a gold chain valued at 4,000 euros and in Adeje, where they did the same with a Rolex watch valued at 3,900 euros.

The two had numerous backgrounds for similar events and carried two high-end mobile phones and 1,000 euros in cash, the National Police said in a note.

They were stopped in a vehicle in Las Palmas and arrested on suspicion of being the couple responsible for the thefts which had led to several complaints being made in the Maspalomas and Adeje police stations.

The modus operandi of the ‘”kiss” or “embrace” consists of the woman approaching the victim, normally a man, ith the excuse of offering sexual relations. Whilst she gives him a kiss or a hug, the other commits the theft.

“This type of criminal acts has different variants, from the request of donations for some association and the offer of sexual relations to giving hugs or kisses, with the sole interest of looking for the moment of distraction to subtract the effects that interest them, which are usually jewellery and watches of great value,” said a police spokesman.