Man arrested for setting a car on fire then robbing two tourists at knifepoint
The Guardia Civil have arrested a 31-year-old man in Lanzarote, accused of committing a crime of criminal damage and another of armed robbery and intimidation, after setting a 45,000 euro car on fire, which completely burned out, and then two days later committing armed robbery and stealing a mobile phone, in the town of Puerto del Carmen.
The first incident took place on April 8th and the Guardia Civil were made aware of it when they received a notice from the emergency services that a vehicle was on fire on a public street in the town.
Investigators went to the scene and found the owner of the vehicle and an eyewitness who had notified the emergency services, who had dispatched the fire brigade to extinguish the burning car. The eyewitness gave a description of the man responsible and the direction he ran in after he had started the fire.
Guardia Civil investigators then analysed all the information given and viewed local CCTV camera footage to determine the modus operandi and determined that the information given by the eyewitness was false, and in actual fact, it was the whistleblower himself who had been captured on CCTV, setting fire to the vehicle and later returning to a holiday apartment very close to the area of the fire and in which he was registered.
As the investigation continued, there is evidence that two days after this incident, the same man was spotted at dawn in the town of Puerto del Carmen carrying an empty fuel bottle, all of this, together with the fact that police identified him and confirmed that he has prior criminal records for arson.
However, it didn’t end there, as this same individual was reported for entering a holiday apartment early in the morning of April 10th where two teenage foreign tourists were staying and threatening them with a knife approximately 25cm long demanded money from them in English, and at one point even placing it on the body of one of the minors, causing her to scream, at which point the individual grabbed a mobile phone and ran out of the apartment.
Thanks to the testimonies of the complainants and more CCTV footage from the holiday complex, together with the investigations that were already being carried out in relation to the fire, it was possible to confirm that it was the same person in both incidents.
After carrying out a search, the man was arrested on Wednesday and charged with both crimes before being placed at the disposal of the Arrecife Courts, who order his entry straight into preventive detention where he is awaiting trial.