Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 23 July 2007

Serial Spanish bank robber finally arrested in Portugal

(Please see UPDATE at end)

A Spaniard who is suspected, over a 13-year period, of having robbed 31 banks has finally been arrested in northern Portugal.

His method of operation followed a pattern - "The Loner", as he came to be known, always carried out the crimes at the same time of day (late morning) and always disguised himself with a fake beard and a dark wig and he carried a gun; it is not mentioned that he ever used it or indeed that it was a real gun.

What interests me about this story, though, is that over this 13-year crime spree the amount he is alleged to have stolen amounted to €600,000 (perhaps £408k), an average of about €20k per crime, although the last robbery he is suspected of in Spain was only €6k. One cannot help wondering if the amounts he was stealing were such that the effort to catch him was not particularly intense, despite his notoriety and the obvious anger that must have been aroused.

NB/ Of course I did not come across this story completely randomly; I have been making efforts over the past several weeks to improve my sources of access to news about Spain, as I plan to be spending at least one third of my time there each year from now on so I have actively been looking for news about Spain. Naturally I have often read the IHT (the link above), specially when I lived in Paris. However, I have discovered one source, in English, of what seems to be reasonably well-written reports about Spain - I'll link to it shortly, once I've evaluated it a bit more. More interestingly I've also discovered very recently a couple of Spanish blogs, in English, which are both well-written and seem to be well worth reading; again I'll be evaluating them a little more before putting them in my blogroll; no doubt I'll be taking this forward over the next few weeks.

UPDATE: (Sunday 29JUL07) I now learn that this person is more dangerous than I had surmised - he is supsected of two murders during the course of his robbery spree.

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