Fourteen police brigades are now actively hunting the relentless armed gang that has been rampaging through the “Linha” district of Lisbon/Cascais since just before Christmas last year.
As readers may remember, a Chinese supermarket owner was the first victim, gunned down in cold-blood as he desperately tried to keep his baby out of the path of oncoming bullets (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/grocer-and-father-fights-for-life-in-hospital-after-being-gunned-down-in-cascais).
Since then there have been no less than 14 armed raids on businesses and pharmacies – a number taking place within hours of each other.
A common denominator is that every assault takes place after dark.
In some cases money is stolen, in others alcoholic drinks. But in all, the men involved are carrying firearms and shotguns.
Pharmacies particularly are reported to be in states of panic as no one knows who will be targeted next.
As far as police report, catching the gang has been difficult “because of the rapidity with which they switch vehicles”.
The last robbery took place last Friday at a “Churrasqueira” (grill house) in Ericeira (the farthest north the gang have travelled so far).
Meantime, the Chinese man who was shot in the head and chest remains in hospital in Lisbon.
At the time of the shooting, the 36-year-old was described as being in a critical condition.
According to media sources, the gang is thought to be made up of young people from the “social housing estates” that pepper the outskirts of Cascais and Lisbon.
By NATASHA DONN