National Police agents have broken up a group of criminals who allegedly specialized in stealing ATMs using the ‘Pizza Slide’ or ‘pizza shovel’ technique. This technique consists of using a hand-made explosive device, which is inserted into the money dispensing hole, which makes it possible to destroy the ATM and access the money it contains. There are seven prisoners in the provinces of Córdoba, Málaga and Almería, as believed to be responsible for the crimes of armed robbery, membership of a criminal group, disorder, theft of license plates, forgery of documents, assault on an agent of authority and injuries to four of them were sent to temporary prison.
In a press release, the National Police detailed that nine robberies were detected, eight in the provinces of Granada, Córdoba, Málaga and Almería and the ninth in the province of Badajoz. In the seven entries and searches made, two explosive devices prepared for immediate use, various materials to carry out attacks, ammunition for long weapons and money.
The investigation began last September when a robbery of this type occurred at a bank branch in the town of Motril in Granada. The perpetrators introduced explosive materials through the ATM’s money dispensing hole and seized almost 40,000 euros, also causing damage of the same amount to the structure of the entity.
The peculiarity of these violent robberies is the use of a hand-made explosive device, consisting of a square metal container or “flask”, inside which is gunpowder and introduced into the ATM using a metal rod, screwed to the aforementioned “flask” forms the so-called “pizza chef’s shovel”. The device is accompanied by special long cables that connect the explosive “pizza” to an initiator that fires at a distance.
The material used by the organization to make artisanal explosives consisted of commonly used pyrotechnic gunpowder that they adapted and pressed to make “pizzas.”
FATHER AND SON ARE MEMBERS OF THE CRIMINAL STRUCTURE
The investigations carried out by the agents made it possible to determine the techniques used to commit the robbery, as well as the profile of the killers. The investigation made it possible to draw a criminal map of attacks covering several provinces and placing a father and his son living in Córdoba as alleged members of a criminal group. In addition, it is possible to find a third member of the criminal structure in the same city and a fourth in Almería, who in addition to allegedly participating in some robberies, managed to obtain high-end rentals that cars used during robberies. they changed the license plates.
The investigators were also able to verify how the organization used intermediaries who took advantage of their situation of need, known as “straw men” or “bombs”, allowing their identities to be used to hire those vehicle and sign their insurance policies that take advantage of their situation of need, economy, identifying three people who have done these tasks.
In the final phase of the investigation, it was found that the group will not only plan a new criminal action for the end of January of this year, but they will also progress to a more violent criminal activity, because according to The investigators they intended to obtain weapons, short weapons, long weapons, grenades and bulletproof vests, said to have been ordered by the leader of the group from a member of the criminal structure located in Almería.
When all the members of the network were identified and found, an operation was carried out that allowed the arrest of seven people, the four alleged perpetrators of robberies in the provinces of Córdoba and Almería and the three “straw men” -two in Almería and one in Málaga-. In order to carry out the arrests, seven houses were searched – six in Córdoba and one in Almería – where two explosive devices ready for use, ammunition for long weapons, accessories to make in the raids and 1,000 euros in cash were seized. .
The investigation made it possible to explain the nine robberies of ATMs with explosives in the Granada cities of Motril and Puerto Lope-Moclín, in Villa del Río (Córdoba), in the city of Azuaga (Badajoz), and in the cities of Almería, Córdoba, Huelva and two in Malaga. After being placed at the disposal of the judicial authority, four of those arrested were placed in temporary detention.