The Judiciary Police announced this Wednesday that they had arrested a 41-year-old man in Évora, who had been on the run for 22 years and suspected of committing crimes of aggravated theft and robberies of the elderly in isolated hills in the Alentejo and Algarve.
In a statement, the Judiciary Police (PJ) revealed that the suspect was detained through the Local Criminal Investigation Unit (ULIC) of Évora, for the practice of aggravated theft, three crimes of theft, one of which was attempted, and document forgery.
“The criminal acts took place in 2000, with the intervention of other suspects, most of them being sentenced by the Court of Évora to sentences between five and 16 years in prison”, can be read in the statement.
The victims of this criminal group, to which this man allegedly belonged, “were usually elderly people living in isolated hills in the Alentejo and Algarve regions”.
“The detainee, who was declared contumacious and had been on the run from justice since that time, used a false identity and was located yesterday”, Tuesday.
Contacted by the Lusa agency, a police source revealed that the man was arrested in the municipality of Évora and that the facts of which he is suspected “were committed in the region of Évora”.
The same source explained that the detainee was already present at the first judicial interrogation and left free, with the coercion measure of weekly presentations at the police station in the area of residence.
“There was a large criminal group, between 1999 and 2001, which terrorized, threatened and attacked the elderly and robbed isolated hills in Alentejo and Algarve”, recalled the source.
That same group “ended up being caught and condemned”, indicated the police source, adding that the man now detained by the PJ, “at the time a boy”, allegedly walked with these members of the group, “but he always managed to escape”.
On 4 November 2002, as reported by Lusa at the time, the Court of Évora sentenced to prison terms, between five and a half and 16 years, five of the six men accused of committing robberies to isolated hills in the Alentejo and Algarve, some of them involving physical violence.
The six defendants were accused of dozens of crimes, especially theft, kidnapping and fraud, committed between 1999 and 2001, in isolated hills in the Alentejo and Algarve.
At the trial, the court proved some of the crimes they were accused of, including theft, kidnapping and illegal possession of weapons.
The difficulties of the victims of the attacks, already of advanced age, in identifying the defendants was one of the main difficulties experienced during the trial, which began on 23 September 2002.