A 46-year-old woman cleared out a bank account belonging to an elderly man living on his own in Picassent and then set fire to his home to try to cover up any evidence of her crime.
The fraudster pretended to be the man’s wife to get a debit card which she used on 20 occasions over several months in ATMs to empty the bank account to the tune of €4,227.
In January, the 70-year-old victim realised there was something wrong and complained about the disappeared money which had left him in dire financial straits.
The Guardia Civil identified the suspect by contacting the bank to get times and details of the withdrawals and which ATMs were used.
They matched those up with ATM security videos to see who was making the illegal withdrawals.
The woman had occasional access to the man’s house and after realising that her scam had been discovered, she went into the property and started a fire to destroy his bank documents.
Some of those papers were undamaged and she was arrested and charged with arson and fraud.
The elderly man’s problems did not end with her detention, as his relatives a few days later discovered an unlicensed shotgun in a cupboard while they were cleaning up the fire-hit room.
They reported the find to the Guardia Civil, who are now investigating the 70-year-old for illegally possessing a weapon.