Dutch police catch Romanian gang suspected in truck cargo robberies

Arrest (Photo: Politie)Arrest (Photo: Politie)

After over two years of investigation, the Dutch police arrested a group of Romanians suspected of stealing the cargo of at least 17 trucks while the trucks were on the move. The robberies started in early 2015. A number of arrests were made over the weekend, AD reports.

The gang drove a car up behind the moving truck. Thieves then got onto the hood of the moving car, forced the truck's cargo area open and threw the items in there into their own car. Other following cars kept traffic at a distance. The thieves mostly targeted trucks carrying expensive electronics.

According to the newspaper, the police traced the gang members to a luxury holiday park on the Veluwe. When searching the cottage they stayed in, the police found about half a million euros worth of iPhones, as well as a van specially equipped for this type of cargo robbery. 

It is not yet clear whether the suspects will be tried in the Netherlands - only five of the 17 robberies happened in the Netherlands, the rest in other parts of Europe. Romania may ask that they be extradited because of the crimes committed elsewhere in Europe. 

Cargo theft from moving trucks is an increasingly popular crime in the Netherlands. In the first three months of 2017 a total of 136 trucks were stolen from in this way, 46 percent more than in the same period in 2016.