crime

Suspects in Spain's biggest jewel heist case busted by police

Watches stolen by the gang in 2012 had a value of 23 million euros

Watches siezed by the police and the tools used by the gang.
Watches siezed by the police and the tools used by the gang.POLICÍA NACIONAL

In what authorities are calling the biggest jewel robbery in Spanish history, police on Thursday arrested 17 members of three organized gangs who last year broke into a distribution center for high-value Swiss watches.

Madrid police chief Alfonso Fernández Díez said at a news conference that the watches the gang stole from the Diarsa distribution center on December 1, 2012 had a value of 23 million euros. The alleged leader, Ismael A. V., is a 31-year-old Spaniard, the chief said.

The heist occurred in broad daylight at the center located in Madrid's Ciudad Lineal district. In making the arrests, police were able to recover several watches valued at between 2,000 and 27,000 euros.

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