18 people have been arrested, ranging from local phone “snatchers” who pinch phones off the unwary to techies who reset the phones to the local fences who were flogging them off for just €50 each at local markets.
The local gang would also buy wholesale boxes of stolen phones from other regions of Spain to flog around here.
As an aside, many of these “stolen” phones, aren’t. Since a lot of home insurance policies include the theft of mobiles and tablets (but not breakages), a common scam is to pretend your old phone was stolen in order to get the payout. If it still works, you can in addition send your old phone off to your local fence for some extra cash. Naughty.