JEWELLERS in Majorca say that they are ”terrified and concerned” following the brutal murder of three jewellers in Castelldefells (Barcelona) on Tuesday. Joan Serra, chairman of the local jewellers' and watchmakers' association, said that members were afraid that a similar attack could take place here.
He was referring to a murder which shocked the country. Two men, both with records (one of them for murder), have been arrested in connection with the raid in which the couple who owned the shop and their 24-year-old son were attacked and killed with machetes. Serra said that it is the small family businesses which were most at risk, and the possibility of a raid is multiplied because the jewellery has to be on display, “otherwise it is not sold.” He added that insurance is becoming more and more expensive, and the small firms cannot afford security guards, and alarms are often ineffective when the raid is carried out in a matter of minutes. He admitted that finding a solution would be difficult, but stressed the need for more police on the beat, especially in certain shopping areas. He would also like to see longer sentences, not only for those who steal the jewels but also for the fences. Serra claimed that the police recover very few of the jewels stolen on the island, as they are usually broken up or sent abroad. This is particularly true of stolen watches, he claimed. In Madrid, Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso said yesterday that monthly meetings would be set up with representatives of the jewellers, to study safety conditions. But while he deeply regretted the deaths of the family in Castelldefells, and said that the culprits would feel the full weight of the law, he pointed out that this type of crime is dropping in Spain. However, he went on, “this does not mean we can lower our guard.” He pledged yesterday that “the government will continue to fight to ensure that such terrible crimes are not committed again.”


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