A 31-year-old Romanian woman who stole an eight thousand euro Rolex watch in Almoradi through a “hugging” robbery, has struck in the Northern Costa Blanca, and appeared before a Jávea judge, after lifting a 16-thousand-euro watch. There have been numerous instances, especially earlier this year, of “huggers” striking across the region as mainly elderly people are targeted by East European gangs. 

People are stopped in the street and asked an innocent question like directions to the local health centre. As a sign of thanks, they are “hugged” in almost a vice-like grip and jewellery is taken off them, before a quick getaway, often in a car that’s already ticking over with an accomplice at the wheel. Numerous cases covered this year by The Courier were reported as happening on the Orihuela Costa, Guardamar, Rojales, and Santa Pola. 

In this particular instance, after a theft in Almoradi, the woman (who appeared to be working on her own) went north, and plundered items in Calpe, Aspe and Polop. This included a 16-thousand-euro Rolex watch being stolen in Calpe, with the total value of the pilfered items said to be 27 thousand euro. She has been charged with six crimes of theft, after all of the victims identified her through her photograph. 

The Guardia Civil have not ruled out further charges as more people come forward. All of the charges refer to incidents this month and in October. Despite the robberies, the unnamed woman was granted bail.  

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