By Humphrey Carter

PHOTOS: MICHELS
THE Guardia Civil were yesterday continuing the hunt for an armed gang which assaulted and robbed a home owned by a wealthy British resident on Monday evening.

The four men, two of whom were armed, were all wearing military clothing and ski masks and assaulted the rural property in Cami de Son Pillo, between Son Bugadelles and Calvia, just after 8.30pm.

One of the gang approached the front gate some 400 metres away from the property and rang inter phone, asking for the owner of the property who is well known in Calvia. However, he had recently left to accompany a seriously ill close friend to Son Dureta Hospital and while the Panamanian told the visitor that the Briton was not at home, the three other masked men apparently stormed the property from the rear.

Realising what was happening, the quick thinking woman called her partner on his mobile but had little time to fully explain what was going on at the house as all four of the men began trying to force their way inside the house.

The woman tried to hide in a bedroom but two of the masked men apparently smashed in the door while the other two broke through the windows before demanding to be shown to the safe.

The terrified woman told her assailants that she had no idea where the safe was and, in order to try and calm the situation, apparently offered them a selection of top label, designer clothes from the wardrobe.

One of the four spoke Spanish, the others only apparently spoke an Eastern European language, and he insisted on being given money. However, the brief stand off continued and the gang eventually fled the scene with three mobile telephones and a digital camera.

Sources close to the investigation believe that the gang must have realised that she had contacted her partner because there were a number of lap top computers and other valuable items they could have escaped with.

In fact, the Briton had immediately called his neighbour, also British, to ask him to alert the security forces to what was going down in his house.
The four men apparently drove off in a Citroen Berlingo van.
The Guardia Civil immediately began throwing up road blocks in and around the area on Monday night and stepped up the search yesterday while forensics dusted the property for finger prints.

The Bulletin learnt yesterday that the Briton believes that the gang may have been monitoring his movements for a few days. He drives a British plated Porsche 911 and as soon as they saw him leave, they moved in on the property. However, the cool and collected reaction from the Panamanian served to foil the armed robbers.

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