By Humphrey Carter MAJORCA'S police forces were on full alert last night hunting a gang of four hooded robbers who stormed a luxury house in Marratxi in the early hours of yesterday morning and escaped in one of the property's vehicles and left the inhabitants tied up.

According to the Guardia Civil, the owners of the property had gone out on Friday evening and they suspect that the four thieves lay in wait for the family to come home in the garden.

The owner's wife, young boy and nanny returned at around 4.15 am and that is when the thieves assaulted the three and tied them up before ransacking the house stealing a large quantity of jewelry and cash. They tried to force the woman to reveal the combination of the safe but she refused to cooperate.

The drama was apparently over within minutes and the thieves escaped in the family's Mercedes but it took the three victims half an hour to free themselves and call the police.

Members of the Local Police and the Guardia Civil rushed to the scene and spent yesterday combing the property for finger prints. Little is known about the gang of four. The only clue the police have is that one or all four had South American accents.

The property is fitted with a complicated security system and alarms and yesterday engineers from the security company revised the system in particular the close circuit televisions system which police believe may have caught the robbers on camera.

The owner of the property was not caught up in the robbery.
He is apparently the owner of a number of clubs in Palma and is currently serving time in jail.
Neighbours and residents are shocked by the robbery and many do not understand how it happened considering the alarm systems and CCTV systems fitted to all of the houses.

Many said that they hope the police can arrest the four as quickly as possible as they fear the gang could return to the wealthy area and attempt to rob another property in a similar violent fashion.

Others were having their home security systems revised yesterday - just in case.