Petrol stations under attack in the Algarve

A MASKED man, armed with a handgun, robbed a Cepsa petrol station located on the EN124 adjoining Poço Partido, close to Carvoeiro, near Lagoa, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Thousands of euros were stolen and the staff member, alone at the time, was assaulted.

According to the owner of the petrol station, the assailant entered the petrol station just a few minutes before closing time, at 11.55pm. He immediately pulled out his gun, pointed it at the employee and demanded money from the till. “It was all very quick and the robbery had obviously been carefully planned”, said the owner. “He took several thousand euros from the till and a separate amount put aside to pay the cigarette supplier.”

Despite the petrol station cashier not putting up any resistance, the thief struck him on the head with the gun, forced him to take him by car to a field, where he got out and escaped on foot.

The fact that the petrol station does not have any security cameras means that there are no images of the assailant, who was apparently wearing a hat and scarf which covered his face, thus making it difficult for the police to investigate.

Gang steals cash machine from Pêra petrol station

The robbery at the Cepsa garage near Carvoeiro is not the only assault to have taken place recently; there have been three robberies at petrol stations in the Algarve in the space of a month. A gang of five men recently stole a cash machine from inside a Galp petrol station located on the EN125 in Pêra. Police suspect that the gang, believed to be from Spain, are responsible for various other robberies in the region over recent weeks.

According to a source, the group must have travelled to the area in a vehicle with a Spanish number-plate, presumably stolen in theneighbouring country. In Alcantarilha, located just a short distance away from the crime scene, the group stole a Ford Transit van, drove to the Galp station, which they found to be closed, and proceeded to drive the van into the forecourt’s window.

Images captured by CCTV surveillance cameras showed the van inside the petrol station with four men using their bare hands to remove the standalone cash machine situated at the entrance, while the fifth man remained at the wheel of the vehicle.The machine, which weighed around 200kg, was hoisted into the van and transported to Spain, where the group dumped the stolen vehicle.

No one witnessed the robbery but camera footage showed that the men were wearing masks and, due to similar methods used in other recent attacks, police suspect that this is not the only robbery in the Algarve to have been carried out by the gang.

Portimão police are currently investigating the incident and Spanish authorities have already located the abandoned vehicle in the Seville area.

In addition to these two robberies, on November 5, three men wearing hooded tops robbed the Avia petrol station in Vila Nova de Cacela, stealing 370 euros and threatening a female cashier with a shotgun.