Phone thieves strike again

Yet another mobile phone shop was burgled last week in the Algarve and police believe that one gang is responsible for a spate of similar raids. The gang’s modus operandi is simple but effective – they break the shop window with a brick and then steal phones and other IT accessories.

The latest incident happened at dawn at the Casa Viola phone shop, in the centre of Portimão, just two steps from the Paços do Concelho building. “It was an enormous crash when they broke the window,” said a resident who lives near the shop. “The group was composed of four or five people, all black, acting with great speed. They stole a lot of IT goods in a very short time” – so much so that the following day a shop worker said he would have to make an inventory of the stolen merchandise. The robbers then sped off in a black Mercedes. Police from Portimão’s PSP section quickly arrived at the scene, but by then the gang had headed out of the city.

The authorities believe that the criminals in question belong to a gang specialising in raids on phone shops, who have been responsible for many similar crimes in the region over the last few months. They may be using a different car each time in order to throw police off the scent. Acting under cover of darkness, the thieves ram their vehicle through the shop window or use bricks. Police believe the gang members concerned come from Lisbon or Setúbal.