PSP police in dock for almost 20 robberies

In an extraordinary court case, two agents attached to the PSP police have been charged with involvement in a crime ring that looted almost 20 homes in the Lousã area (Coimbra district).
In one case, one of the policemen was caught red-handed, breaking into a property with his service revolver. The house belonged to a former tax office director who recognised José Nogueira and was pistol-whipped around the head in the process. The man’s screams brought neighbours running and caused Nogueira to flee.
According to Correio da Manhã, Nogueira, 44, is so far the only defendant to admit to some of the robberies. The others in the dock in Lousã, including PSP colleague Milton Torrinha, 41, have remained silent.
The court has heard how the ring was picky with targets, casing all the properties carefully before deciding on whether or not to break in.
“They knew most of their victims,” said the newspaper, “and only acted when homeowners were out or away on holiday.”
As the court hearing continues, both officers are now under house arrest.
Raiding their homes as part of the investigation, PJ police reportedly found “hundreds of stolen objects” many of which were later identified by the various victims.
One of the agents is reported to have alleged financial difficulties as a reason for turning to crime.