THE streets of Marbella are safer to walk whilst wearing a Rolex after police busted a motorcycle gang targeting people wearing high-end watches.
The gang, consisting of Italians who travelled back and forth from Naples, got away with 29 such robberies with a combined value of over one million euros, according to police.
Three members were arrested after Operation Soldadito caught them red-handed.
Further searches revealed five watches along with seven motorcycle helmets, four motorcycles, €995 in cash and several false licence plates.
Officers attached to the Robbery Group of Malaga police and the UDEV of the Marbella Police Station became aware of a pattern of violent motorbike robberies seizing specifically high-end watches in June 2022.
They were able to track several members of the group who had settled in Marbella from Italy.
From surveilling them they learned that they were responsible for providing shelter and support to other members who travelled over on a sporadic basis to commit the robberies.
After the assaults were carried out, the criminal cell organised the shipments of the stolen watches to Italy, giving them an outlet in the black market.
Once ready to swoop, investigators set up an operation that allowed them to follow three suspects to a garage after committing a robbery.
They were arrested as alleged perpetrators of violent robbery, and one stolen watch was recovered.