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Guardia Civil officers have arrested two men for the theft of horse riding equipment and accessories to the value of 12,000 euros from an Equestrian centre in Altea.
The arrested men, both Spanish, are alleged to have stolen 8 saddles, 10 horse sweats, 12 leather bridles, a horse blanket and cover and even riding boots, by poisoning a german shepherd guard dog, left on the premises to deter intruders.
Investigating officers, from the Altea Guardia Civil, who were called to the scene by the owner of the centre, came to the conclusion that the robbery was committed by someone who knew the layout of the premises including the presence of the large dog, who weighed 80kg.
The dog, who was sedated with poison, took several days of veterinary treatment before recovering from the ordeal.
After taking to social media sites to publicise the robbery and give details of the stolen items, the owner was approached by a young man, who said he had an interest in horses and offered to visit rastro’s and second hand businesses in the area, to search for the missing equipment.
A day later, he sent a photo of a saddle he had bought from a market stall for 30 euros, which the owner immediately recognised as one of the stolen items.
She arranged to meet the man in a local bar, but also informed Guardia investigators, who planted two plain clothes officers in the same venue.
At the meeting, the young man, became agitated, as he wanted to receive the money, he had paid for the saddle immediately, rather than waiting for the victim to recover the full amount lost in the raid.
The waiting officers, already suspicious of the twenty year old Spaniard, swooped quickly to arrest him and his 38 year old accomplice, who they were able to link them with similar robberies at equestrian centres in Sant Vicente del Raspeig and Mutxamel.
They arrested the two men, who appeared in court on charges of robbery with force and animal cruelty.
They were released on bail, pending trial, however, officers were able to recover all of the stolen items.
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