THE Guardia Civil was forced to intervene to save two suspected thieves from being lynched by 200 angry Ariany residents, some armed with rocks and sticks, on Tuesday night.
The build up to the showdown started last Friday when two Ariany residents were suspected of having robbed one of the neighbouring houses.
According to the police, two days later, on Sunday, the thieves struck again but this time robbed two houses in close proximity to theirs in the quiet village between Algaida and Inca.
Police sources revealed yesterday that the two suspects robbed what ever they could get their hands on, in particular a shotgun which they were worried about.
However, the flash point came on Sunday evening when the suspects were caught red-handed by a group of local residents and over the next couple of days, the village decided to take matters into its own hands to stop the wave of robberies. On Tuesday night at 8.15pm, a group of 200 residents, two thirds of the total population of 300, marched on the house where the suspects were living in calle Damato. Some of locals were apparently armed with clubs and stones and the angry mob tried to force the suspects out of the property. The two men were said to have been terrified and, armed with two shotguns, barricaded themselves in. Fortunately, the Guardia Civil intervened rapidly and managed to calm the situation before forcing the two men out and arresting them.
Yesterday, the Guardia Civil returned to the scene and, after a large and vicious guard dog was taken out of the equation, searched the property for stolen goods.