A CRIME Prevention Police Squad in Palma has put a stop to an out-of-date food robbery and resale racket with arrests being made at a supermarket in Calle Arago two nights running.

At 10.30 on Tuesday evening, officers arrested three people who were caught loading food into their vehicle which had been removed from the supermarket shelves because it was at the point of passing its “sell by” date and was being kept separately for removal later by Palma's rubbish management company, Emaya.

The following night, a new watch was set up to see if anyone else came to the storage area of the supermarket as police suspected there had been a black market operating in out-of-date food. Given that rubbish lorries would arrive at around midnight, the thieves would have to act between the time of closure and 11.30pm. Lying in wait, police watched a slowly-moving private car come to a halt in front of the supermarket in Calle Arago. A man, a woman and nine-year-old girl got out of the car and headed for the door of the premises. After opening the door with one of a bunch of keys, the man gave the keys back to the girl who headed for the car. The woman entered the store whilst the man kept guard outside. At this point, the police chose to catch the thieves in the act and arrested 30-year-old Abraham V.M. and 31-year-old Sefora A.M. The child, from whom the police took possession of the keys, is their daughter. The man had allegedly given the keys back to the girl so that in the event of his being apprehended, he could not be accused of being in possession of means of entry and would say that he had found the doors already open. The couple were taken to San Ferran police station while the girl was returned to her grandparents. Sefora A.M. had been found in the storeroom putting trays of meat into a bag. In the boot of the car, police found a whole range of perishable goods which police believe had been taken from other supermarkets for resale. The bunch of keys was also found to open access to other supermarkets. Police are investigating how the couple came in possession of the duplicate keys.