Algarve petrol stations targeted by thieves

POLICE APPREHENDED a man in Silves on January 4, on suspicion of robbing a petrol station shop in Algoz. He is believed to have also robbed two other petrol stations in Silves.

The Cespa petrol station on the road between Alcantarilha and Armação de Pêra was robbed by a man described as being casually dressed and aged around 30. He was tall and thin with dark hair.

He waited until six customers, who were in the shop to leave, before approaching the assistant and demanded money from the till. He had his hand inside his jumper and indicated that he was carrying a weapon, but the assistant never saw it. His getaway car was described as being a silvery-grey Renault Modus, which had apparently been stolen from Faro Airport.

The chase

A second assistant ran after the assailant and managed to get into the backseat of the car, where he grabbed the thief’s neck, but the assailant accelerated the car and the worker was forced to get out.

The thief  took little more than 100 euros from the till.  A car chase ensued between the man and the petrol station owner’s son. The suspected robber was chased to Silves by the son, who alerted the police as he continued to follow the assailant. The chase ended after 50 kilometres when the man lost control of his car while turning a sharp corner and hit a wall.

He attempted to flee from the car, but was caught by police and taken to prison. On searching the car, which had been reported stolen the previous week, the police found a replica gun.

Other robberies

Police are still investigating other petrol station robberies, which have occurred across the region. A BP petrol station was robbed on January 1, in Faro at 10.45pm. An individual, dressed in casual clothes and wearing sunglasses entered the shop, while another man remained in a white car on the forecourt.

The assailant told the assistant that he had a gun under his jacket. He then demanded money from the cash register. He made off with 200 euros, the car is believed to have false licence plates.

Half-an-hour later, a service station on the A22 near Boliqueime was robbed at 11.15pm. In this case, the male assailant pointed a gun at the assistant and demanded the money from the cash register. However, as the assistant had only just started his shift, the till contained a float of less than 50 euros.

The getaway car was described by the assistant as a white Fiat Punto.

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