Thieves head south

According to a police spokesman, a group of Lisbon-based mobile phone thieves robbed a shop belonging to Portugal Telecom in Albufeira recently and then crashed the stolen car they were using for their get-away. The gang, reportedly composed of four or five members, is suspected of being responsible for a spate of recent robberies in Faro, Lagos and Olhão. The most recent target for the thieves was the PT shop in Albufeira, situated near the Municipal Auditorium. The gang was driving an Alfa Romeo, which they had apparently stolen in Lisbon the same night, and used the vehicle to ram-raid the door and shop window. Once inside, they quickly plundered the shop of its contents and then returned to the Lisbon motorway. But, perhaps heady with their ‘success’, they drove carelessly and careered off the motorway near Grândola. None of the gang sustained serious injuries, so they abandoned the damaged car, retrieved the stolen merchandise, stole the nearest available vehicle – in this case a Fiat Uno – and disappeared into the night. Authorities are now investigating the case.